Grady wins Desert Rats race after leaders take different path

Grady wins Desert Rats race after leaders take different path

Bill Moyle from Denver runs a section of path Saturday during the Desert Rats Trailrunning Festival on the Kokopelli Trail south of Loma. Mike Grady, 29, of Lyons, won the 25-mile race in 3 hours, 19 minutes and 34 seconds.

At the second aid station, 9.2 miles into the Desert Rats Trailrunning Festival on Saturday, the leaders in the 25-mile race scattered.

It wasn’t their choice. Sometimes in trail running, it just happens. Focus on rhythm and mindsets and breathing blurs directions. And so no one knows who would have won.

But the winner, officially, was a pet nutritionist who used his knowledge of nutrients that optimize bodily function to place first. Mike Grady, 29, of Lyons, won in 3 hours, 19 minutes and 34 seconds.

Second to start and return to the Mack trail head on Kokopelli Trail, south of Loma, was Chris Lundberg in 3:21:01.

Grady said he noticed about three runners had been ahead of him for the first nine miles. But at the end, on a long straightaway, he was none of them. And he hadn’t passed them. Reportedly, the men had run an extra mile or two on an off-shooting trail sometime after that second aid station.

“I talked to the guys afterward and they didn’t feel gypped or anything,” Grady said. “They said it is what it is. It wasn’t their first rodeo.”

Race director Reid Durham said men at the aid station told him the runners ran far past the aid station before they could tell them the correct direction to run. It’s an easy thing to do in a trail race.

“Especially for the front-runners,” Durham said. “They’re focused on speed rather than paying attention on the trail.”

Grady said he still doesn’t know if he ran the correct route.

Regardless, he won, and he did so four months after becoming a vegetarian. During the race, he digested numerous ‘S’ caps and gels that contained electrolytes, manganese, sodium, enzymes and other nutrients lost through perspiration.

Dogs also need enzymes, Grady said. What works for a dog, in general, can work for humans — raw vegetables, for example.

“I just don’t eat things that had a mouth or eyes,” Grady said. “The main reason is there are a lot of studies linking consumption of animals to heart disease.”

Another study of military implications was taking place. Joel Arellano, a 39-year-old Grand Junction Fire Department captain, ran 25 miles in his 65-plus-pound bomb disposal suit.

He left at midnight and finished in just less than 15 hours.

Russ Little, a friend and co-worker of Arellano’s, said Colorado Mesa University kinesiology professor Gig Leadbetter said the military is interested in data resulting from Arellano’s run, which included Arellano’s dehydration levels monitored by urine tests, as well as core temperature readings.

Arellano swallowed a pill-sized electronic device at 10:30 p.m. on Friday. The device transmitted a core temperature back to Little and four others.

The “danger” zone, Little said, would have been 104 degrees, at which point Arellano would have stopped and cooled down.

But as he walked and shuffled throughout the night and into the afternoon heat, his highest reading was 101.6.

“He’s a freak of nature,” Little said. ” I don’t think people realize the significance of what was just done in our little hometown of Grand Junction.”


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