Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 Foothills Climbfest Recap

Scenic views of downtown Denver from Deer Creek Canyon

The 2013 Foothills Climbfest, contested on May 25, 2013, was one for the records as a record number of participants--32 glutton-for-punishment RMCCers--decided to tackle this year's Climbfest! Contested on Memorial Day weekend, the Climbfest is one of the longest-standing RMCC Challenge Series events. The course used for the Climbfest, which climbs well over 8,000 vertical feet in just 80 miles, tackles some of the most challenging paved roads in the foothills to the southwest of Denver, including High Grade Road (a 3,000 foot Front Range classic!), Shadow Mountain/Brook Forest, Parmalee Gulch Road, High Drive (it's not called high drive for nothing!), and Brook Forest/Shadow Mountain (in reverse...a "beast" of a climb at the end of a long day, especially in the heat!). Although not officially a race, participants of the Foothills Climbfest are encouraged to challenge themselves and put forth their best efforts. Many riders use this event as a final tune-up for the Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic on June 15th, the first event of the Colorado Triple Crown.

For this year's event, participants were greeted with beautiful, partly cloudy skies and unseasonably warm temperatures, which reached the mid-80s by the middle of the afternoon. Winds were also generally on the light side, but many riders concurred that there were an abundance headwinds this year...

Congratulations to Diane Benoit of Morrison, CO for matching Wendy Field's 2009 woman's course record of 5:31! And congratulations to all of the year's participants for their hard work!! Results will be posted on the RMCC web page soon.

Special thanks to Charlie Henderson and Rick Melick for providing event support for this year's ride. Rick filled in on last minute's notice to help out, so I am grateful for his help!!! (Yes, can have my first-born as promised...)

RMCC President, Charlie Henderson, along with Tom Groves, Steve Rudolph, and Tom Miller
at the conclusion of this year's event. 

Here are the highlights from this year's event:

  • 30 preregistered riders, 6 non-preregistered riders, and many other club riders who decided to attempt parts of this very challenging course.
  • 32 participants (by far our largest group ever!)
  • 4 no-shows (Okay...that's a little better than BF5)
  • 3 female participants (A little extra estrogen on the road during these events is a good thing!)
  • Once again, congratulations to Diane Benoit who tied Wendy Fields women's 2009 course record of 5:31 (14:49 m.p.h.)!
  • Mark Lowe of Arvada, CO was first men's finisher in 4:43 (16.95 m.p.h.), a bit (a lot!) off of his course record of 4:23 (18.48 m.p.h) he set in 2011.
  • Sy Katz, at 73 years young, becomes our oldest finisher ever for this event with a very impressive finishing time of 5:58. Not to be outdone, Tom Groves, at the ripe young age of 65, posted the first sub-five hour time for any finisher older the age of 60 with an impressive finishing time of 4:55. Congratulations to both of you! 
  • Lots of flat tires!
  • One minor crash (that I'm aware of)...
  • 25 gallons of water consumed ( was on the toasty side!)

Eric Nelsen at the conclusion of this year's Climbfest. Eric is continuing to dial in the position on his new Cannondale in preparation for the upcoming Colorado Triple Crown.
Lloyd Jones, Mark Stanton, and Josh Horwood are relieved to be finished!

Mike Sanders and Diane Benoit at the conclusion of this year's ride. Mike and Diane worked together toward the end of this year's ride to help Diane match the women's course record set by Wendy Fields in 2009. 

Jacob Torrey and RMCC veteran Harris Rosenthal at the conlusion of this year's event are excited about the prospect of grabbing a burger at the Rox Bar and Grill after a hard day on the bike!

Sy Katz and Eric Oshlo at the conclusion of this year's ride. Congratulations to both of you!

Marty Medina bettered last year's time finishing time by 45 minutes. Congratulations, Marty!

Martha Pomares, trying to escape the camera, was only the second female finisher for this year's event. Congratulations on completing another Climbfest, Martha!

RMCC newcomer, Paul Braun, at the conclusion of this year's Climbfest...