July 13, 2003

Contact: Nancy Hobbs
All American Trail Running Association
(719) 573-4405
email: trlrunner@aol.com

Teva US Mountain Running Team Members Victorious at Barr Trail Race

Manitou Springs, CO --- Paul Low, 29, Amherst, MA and Kelli Lusk, 33, Manitou Springs, CO duplicted their efforts from last year to win the fourth annual Barr Trail Mountain Race. This year's race was special for the pair who recently got engaged. "We met at last year's race, traveled to Europe together using the airline tickets we received for the win, and we got engaged last month following the Northfield Mountain Race in Massachusetts (where they both earned spots on the Teva US Mountain Running team)," said Lusk.
Low has been training in Manitou Springs for the past few weeks and will return with Lusk to Europe for the month of August to race internationally. Although Low was third to the half way point at Barr Camp six miles into the race behind runner-up Matt Carpenter, 38, Mantiou Springs and fellow Teva US Mountain team member Simon Gutierrez, 37, Alamosa, CO, he passed both Carpenter and Gutierrez on the downhill setting an age group record of 1:30:55, just 48 seconds off the course record of 1:30:07 set by Carpenter in 2001.

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Low Carpenter Werner Gutierrez

"This year I went for the win. I watched Simon and Matt really push each other on the uphill and that might have taken a toll on Matt. Matt is a great all-around runner, but I'm better on the steep downhills, so I really pushed it on the down. I didn't pass him until No Name Creek (about 3 miles from the finish) and picked up four minutes in those last miles," said Low.
Gutierrez, first to Barr Camp just four seconds ahead of Carpenter, collected the $200 King of the Hill preem then moved aside to let Carpenter take the lead on the downhill. "I wanted to push the uphill and go after the preems, and then take it easy on the downhill section which I did," said Gutierrez.
There were a total of four preems on the course, the first just one half mile into the race ($100), and two more before Barr Camp, both $50. Two-time British Olympian Justin Chaston, 34, who now lives in Colorado Springs, sprinted to capture the first preem and Gutierrez collected the other three.
Carpenter, co-founder of the race, said, "I have two jobs for the event, getting good athletes to compete and running my best race. I was really happy for Paul. He ran a smart race. Simon and I went really hard on the up going after the preems. Simon sprinted for them, I had nothing left to sprint."
Mark Werner, 31, Boulder was fourth to Barr Camp and passed Gutierrez on the downhill. He came across the finish line in third place with dirt stains on his chest and a few scratches on his nose, cheek, and legs. Werner has been known to fall in mountain races and actually broke his arm a few years ago. "Sure I fell today, but I didn't break any bones. Overall my race felt pretty good, but I got tired the last mile or two."
On the women's side it would be a race between Lusk and Kari DiStefano, 44, Telluride, CO, also a member of the 2003 Teva US Mountain Running Team. "Having Kari to run against made for a fun race. I knew we'd be fairly matched on the climb, but I knew she would be really strong on the downhill section. I was really running for my life knowing that Kari was chasing me down," said Lusk. "Kelli won the first preem and then I passed her to collect the second and third preems. She picked it up on the flatter section to move ahead at Barr Camp for the final preem. I felt like I was picking up time on the way down, but I got a rock in my shoe that slowed me down," said DiStefano.
Lusk had problems of her own on the downhill taking a nasty fall a few miles from the finish line where she fractured her toe and tore the skin off her arm requiring ten stitches following the race. She still managed to improve her time by eighteen seconds finishing in 1:53:50. DiStefano was timed in 1:54:32, and Eva Hagen, 35, Colorado Springs rounded out the top three in 2:00:54.

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Lusk              DiStefano       

DiStefano was the first place master's woman while Bernie Boettcher, 40, Silt was the first male master finishing in fourth place overall. Each won $125 for the masters win.

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Low, Gutierrez, Lusk, DiStefano, will travel to Alaska in September to compete at the World Mountain Running trophy for the Teva US Mountain Running team. The remaining team members will be announced following the final selection race in Alaska on August 9. All but Lusk are returning team members.
Through the support of presenting sponsor Pikes Peak National Bank, footwear and apparel sponsor adidas, and many other sponsors and supporters, the Barr Trail Mountain Race was able to give 100% of the collected entry fees to charities this year. In addition the event raised $7000 to award to six area high school track and cross country programs through an aid station challenge program.
For more information and race results visit www.runpikespeak.com.

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L-R - Pellisier, Boettcher, Werner, Carpenter

Top finishers:
1) Paul Low, 29, Amherst, MA, 1:30:55, $400
2) Matt Carpenter, 38, Manitou Springs, CO, 1:34:59, $250
3) Mark Werner, 31, Boulder, 1:35:18, $100
4) Bernie Boettcher, 40, Silt, 1:35:32, $125 (masters money)
5) Jean Pellisier, 30, Italy, 1:37:40
2003_bt_top_women.jpg (3421 bytes)
L-R - Barnish, Chaston, Hagan, DiStefano

Top Women:
1) Kelli Lusk, 33, Manitou Springs, 1:53:50, $700 (includes preems)
2) Kari DiStefano, 44, Telluride, 1:54:32, $475 (includes masters and preems)
3) Eva Hagan, 35, Colorado Springs, 2:00:54, $100
4) Stacey Chaston, 33, Colorado Springs, 2:02:13
5) Amy Barnish, 38, Ft. Collins, 2:07:02

Websites of interest: