A 34-year-old Colorado athlete ran a new course record April 25 in the Zane Grey Highline Trail 50-mile race.
Dave Mackey covered the national recreation trail in seven hours and 51 minutes to set a new standard and claim the $500 bonus that goes along with it.
In the female open division, Nikki Kimball, a 32-year-old New York runner, also set a record finishing the course in nine hours and 14 minutes.
In the master's division, Scott Crell of Montana finished first in eight hours and one minute. That also was an age-division record.
According to local runner Martin Szekeresh, the Zane Grey race is one of 10 in the Montrail Ultra Race Series. Ultra races are defined as being longer than the standard 26.2-mile marathon.
The race sponsor, Montrail, is a national sports shoe and boot manufacturer.
"At the pre-race carbo-loading dinner held in the Mazatzal Casino, Montrail exhibited a new trail running shoe called the ‘Highline' they intend to introduce next spring," Szekeresh said.
Due to the condition of some parts of the trail, race director Bob Redwanc and volunteers worked to clear Highline of downed trees. Their efforts were thwarted when strong winds the past few weeks fell trees weakened by drought and the infestation of the bark beetle.
"The unstable footing caused numerous falls resulting in cuts, lacerations, bruises and strains," Szekeresh said. "From a runner's perspective, race day was too warm, the humidity too low and the sun too relentless."
Among the problems the runners had to endure was dehydration between aid stations that were positioned 11 miles apart.
According to Szekeresh, the 144 runners who participated did so for personal, unselfish reasons.
"It was certainly not for money or fame," he said. " It was only for personal satisfaction of achieving a goal after accepting the challenge and enduring many hours of hardship."