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Kilian Jornet, Caroline Chaverot led at halfway point

Defending co-champion Schlarb drops out early

No runner continued without adversity as the leaders hit the halfway point of the 2017 Hardrcok Hundred Endurance Run.

Three-time defending champion Kilian Jornet of Spain was spotted running with only one trekking pole because of a shoulder injury at Mile 40 after running through hail, rain and lightning up Grizzly Gulch. He was running strong with fellow Spaniard Iker Karrera as they summited 14,048-foot Handies Peak. Mike Foote of Missoula, Montana, was within 8 minutes of the leaders at Mile 40. At Mile 42, iRunFar.com reported Jornet had dislocated his shoulder. He taped the injury and continued along the route.

Jornet and Karrera reached Engineer in 10 hours, 46 minutes. Jornet reported he was feeling good despite the shoulder injury. Karrera mentioned stomach pain. Foote was only five minutes back at Engineer and was quickly in and out of the aid station. Joe Grant of Gold Hill in Boulder County was the fourth man through Engineer, 17 minutes back of the leader. Jornet and Karrera came down Bear Creek Trail heading into Ouray together. Karrera was about 20 paces back as the two continued to work together.

But everything changed in Ouray.

Grant and Jornet came in together, and Jornet stopped to retape his shoulder. Grant was in-and-out and left the Ouray aid station at Mile 56 in first place, with Jornet four minutes behind. Foote maintained third place five minutes back, while Karrera’s stomach woes caught up to him. He was fourth and took a lengthy stop in Ouray.

Cold temperatures mixed with the inclement conditions caused problems on the women’s side of the race. Leader Caroline Chaverot of France built a massive lead on her rivals, Durango’s Hannah Green, two-time defending champion Anna Frost and three-time winner Darcy Piceu. She led by 30 minutes at Mile 42 and was determined to go faster to help fight off how cold she felt.

Chaverot set the tone and built an 86-minute lead at the Engineer aid station at Mile 48. She stayed only one minute at the Engineer aid station, determined to continue building her lead as the toll of the grueling race began to set in. She rolled down Bear Creek Trail with a massive lead, and as the fifth overall runner in the field. She reached Ouray in 12:28 and was only 13 minutes off the overall lead of Grant. She was fourth overall after leaving the aid station before Karrera.

The counter-clockwise course began at 6 a.m. Friday in Silverton and traveled toward Lake City, over Handies Peak toward Ouray and will make its way toward Telluride before returning to Silverton before sunrise Saturday morning, as the winner is expected before 6 a.m.

The course features 66,050 feet of elevation chance at an average elevation of 11,000 feet. Along with Handies, runners will surpass 12,000 feet a total of 13 times during the 100.5 miles through the San Juan Mountains.

Jornet set the counter-clockwise course record in 2015 in 23:28:10. He also set the clockwise course record of 22:41:33 in his Hardrock debut in 2014. Last year, Jornet finished as co-champion with Durango’s Jason Schlarb.

Schlarb was the first runner to drop out of this year’s race. He made it only six miles before a stomach bug caught up to him. He said he had battled the illness for a few days leading up to the race.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, only three runners had dropped out of the race out of the 145 starters.

For more, keep following www.durangoherald.com and follow sports editor John Livingston on Twitter @jlivi2.

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

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