Run like a girl

Run like a girl

What does it take to not only finish a 105- mile race but win it? Local hard-core runners and weekend joggers alike can find out this Sun., Sept 8, when Backcountry Experience hosts ultra-running phenom Courtney Dauwalter.

Dauwalter, 34, won last week’s Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, which took more than 2,500 of the world’s gnarliest runners through the Alps, starting and ending in Chamonix. In the process, the 170-kilometer course gained more than 32,000 feet over some of Europe’s most punishing terrain.

When the mud settled Aug. 31, more than a day after starting, Dauwalter, a former school teacher from Golden, emerged victorious for the women. With a time of in 24:34:26, Dauwalter arrived nearly a full hour ahead of her nearest competitor, Sweden’s Kristin Berglund.

It was her first attempt at the UTMB in a place where ultra-running is as popular as Monday Night Football in the states. “I’m still kind of absorbing it ; the whole thing was such a special day,” she told irunfar.com in a post-race interview.

Dauwalter was humble about her accomplishment, admitting to “losing her lunch” at one point. “There were parts I wasn’t sure I was moving forward,” she said of the final miles. “It wasn’t pretty ... I was in a pretty dark place.”

But her spirits perked when, coming into the last 1.5k stretch, she was escorted by a man on Rollerblades. “(It) circles back to Minnesota where rollerblading is a major pastime,” said the Minnesota native. “Thank you for that, Roller Blades.”

There’s no word on whether Dauwalter will be sporting her blades in Durango, but she will lead a short trail run (on foot), starting at Backcountry Experience at 6 p.m. The run will be followed by a barbecue and the world premier of her Salomon TV episode, “Ultra Addict.”

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