A Leadville, Colo. runner man overcame the rigors of Airport Hill, swirling winds, a rugged course and Payson's elevation to win the Rim Country Challenge Half-Marathon.
In the run held Oct. 13 in Payson, Scott Griffin took the gold in 1:42 overcoming runner-up Karen Doonmoyer on the downside of Airport Hill.
"She led for about the first four miles," Griffin said. "I'm a downhill runner, so I passed her there (at Airport Hill)."
The speedy Doonmoyer, who wowed the crowd with her gazelle-like strides, was clocked in 1:43.15 and was first among the women entrants.
The run proved to be a boon for female runners, when five of the top-10 finishers turned out to be women.
In addition to Griffin's strength on the down slopes, he was not slowed by Payson's mile-high altitude.
That's because, the Colorado hometown in which he trains is located at an elevation of 10,200 feet.
"So the elevation was no problem," he said.
Griffin learned of the Rim Country Challenge through his parents, who reside locally.
Mark Smith garnered third-place honors in 1:48:23.
In the 5K run, Chris Standage won in 19:39. Payson High School cross-country team member David Knauer was second.
Among the women 5K entries, Madelyn Champlin claimed first in 23:02.
More than 180 entrants participated in the half-marathon and 5K events that were held to benefit the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity.
A Young Athletes Fun Run opened the activities for the entire family.
The events tipped off Friday evening with a pasta dinner at Rim Country Middle School.
The following day, at the conclusion of the race, the Payson Knights of Columbus hosted a pancake breakfast in the Rumsey Park large ramada.
During a post-race awards ceremony, long-time PAHH volunteer Bob Charameda presented the top-three overall finishers in the two races with special American Indian items including Kachina dolls, blankets, pots and artwork.