Manitou runners log extra miles in off-season winter series

Hunter Sherraden and Lizzy Anderson

This winter, a group of MSHS students, parents, and teachers braved the cold to participate in Pikes Peak Road Runners’ annual Winter Series. “The Series,” as some runners call it, consists of four races across the months of January and February. Most of the school’s runners raced in the Long Series, which started with a 7 mile race and ended with a 20k (about 12.5 miles). Others, however, chose the smaller and less extreme Short Series. The Short Series kicked off with a 3.5 mile race and ended with a 10k (about 6.2 miles).

The group of runners from MSHS consisted of 9 runners. Four of these runners were students.  Sophomores Bryce Van Derveer and Seth Nolen ran the Long Series, while Jen Cole and Hunter Sherraden (also sophomores) ran the Short Series. Various parents also participated, including Blaine Miller, Bill Van Derveer, and Steven Rodriguez. Joining them were teachers Mr. and Mrs. Roberson and Mr. Jones.

The Winter Series does not consist of easy races by any means. In fact, to kick off the series at the first race, the race organizers were forced to cancel the timing of the race due to weather conditions.

The race was set up in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. The day and night leading up to the race were filled with snow and ice, causing the trails to freeze up and become a safety hazard. To prevent participants from racing too fast and running recklessly, the decision was made to cancel the timing of the race and to make the race exempt from counting towards who would win the series altogether (the runner with the fastest average time).

Each race was a different length, so the runners didn’t have one personal record. For some runners, some of the races were the longest they have ever ran (a tough introduction to high-mileage racing).

Although every runner did a excellent job, Mr. Roberson stood out. During the 8-mile Race 2, Roberson was running at a 6 minutes per mile pace. He finished with a time of 51:45. He ranked in 6th place overall for the Long Series.

The second race, a hilly and difficult 10 mile adventure, Roberson placed in 8th place in the Long Series. The final race was a 20k (about 12 miles), he crossed the finish line in 8th place. During the last race Roberson was running about a 6 minute mile for 12 straight miles.

Note: Photos courtesy of Jeff Kearney and the Colorado Springs Gazette.