Home cookin’ fuels local runners

Marathon, half-marathon close weekend’s Durango Double

Runners check their watches as they await the start of the marathon and half-marathon Sunday at Fort Lewis College. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Runners check their watches as they await the start of the marathon and half-marathon Sunday at Fort Lewis College.

Durango-area runners used some old fashioned home cookin’ to take control of the Durango Double on Sunday.

Runners based in the Four Corners won three of the four road races on Sunday’s final day of the Durango Double running festival.

Logan Ott of Mancos and Marina Leith of Durango won the full 26.2-mile road marathons on a brisk, fall morning.

Lee Rosenthal of Durango won the men’s half-marathon.

Marlene Armijo of Jemez Pueblo, N.M., broke the locals’ hold when she won the women’s half-marathon – on the heels of her third-place finish in Saturday’s 25-kilometer (15.5-mile) trail run.

“The whole race was exciting. I had another runner who helped me keep my pace,” said Armijo, who prevailed in a final sprint down Durango’s Main Avenue.

“I fueled up (Saturday) night,” Armijo said, adding that she was worried about how she would recover from Saturday’s trail run.

“This is my first (double). The trail run ... up and down those hills. It took a toll on the legs. But (Sunday), I felt good. Knees were good. Legs were good,” said Armijo, who finished in 1 hour, 37 minutes, 57 seconds. She was seventh overall in the 25K.

“The whole time I was training, I tried to do long miles back to back to get ready ... to get my body accustomed to two long runs,” she said after finishing Sunday at Buckley Park in downtown Durango.

Ilana Stern of Durango was second in the women’s half-marathon Sunday.

Rosenthal captured the men’s half in a quick 1:30:14, finishing ahead of Mark Pfetzer of Farmington (1:30:16) and Matt Teague of Durango (1:30:43).

David Buck of Durango was fourth in the 13.1-mile race (1:31:14)

Pfetzer and Teague both doubled; they ran the 25K trail race Saturday. Pfetzer finished third; Teague was fourth.

“About the last mile or so, we fought it out,” Rosenthal said of a final duel with Pfetzer.

“It just came down to the last turn ... and it hurt,” said Rosenthal, who runs the Crazy Dog Window Washing service in Durango.

One of his regular training partners, Ott, won the full marathon Sunday in his first 26.2-mile race.

“I finally did one (marathon). I like it,” said Ott, a Fort Lewis College graduate and former FLC cross country runner.

“I’m pretty pleased. Not bad for a first marathon,” he said after finishing in 2:42:22.

“I’ve been doing long runs on the weekends,” said Ott, a former winner of the Steamworks Animas Valley Half-Marathon in Durango.

He said he’s also been doing regular speed workouts with Pete Mech of Durango, who finished third in Sunday’s marathon (3:03:20).

Second place went to Gary Krugger of Flagstaff, Ariz., the winner of the men’s 50K trail race Saturday. Fifty kilometers measures to 31.1 miles.

Even with the 50K behind him, Krugger still finished the road marathon in under three hours: 2:58:11.

Krugger, who won the celebrated Madison Marathon in Montana last summer in record time, has the best combined finish in the Durango Double: first in the 50K, second in the marathon.

A new resident of Durango, running in only her second full marathon, won the women’s race.

Leith, who works at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy and Steamworks, captured the women’s marathon in 3:34:59.

“My strategy? Honestly, I didn’t have one,” Leith said in the finish area. “This was kind of a last-minute thing. I just wanted to beat my time from my last (marathon).”

She did. By a lot.

“I crushed it by almost 30 minutes,” the overjoyed Leith said when she learned her time will qualify her for future big-time marathons.

“I just moved here in May,” said Leith, originally from Maryland-Washington, D.C.

“This is totally unexpected,” she said.

Sunday’s marathon field featured 70 runners with 51 of those also running either the 25K or 50K trail races Saturday.

A field of 186 ran in the half-marathon, including 58 doublers. The half-marathon field was more than 60 percent women.

Complete results from both days of the Durango Double are available at my.raceresults.com.