Marathon man: Fanselow wins inaugural Rim Rock Marathon
Bill Fanselow has a lot to celebrate.
The Golden man, who turns 43 today, was the first runner to cross the finish line Saturday in the inaugural Rim Rock Marathon over the Colorado National Monument. He finished the course in 2 hours, 43 minutes, 2 seconds, a pace of 6 minutes, 14 seconds per mile.
“The first 13 miles were no problem,” Fanselow said. “I’ve done many, many runs of that distance and felt fine. It was so cold and the footing was bad. The descent was a lot harder. It was cold and the legs weren’t absorbing the shock.
“I was hoping I would go faster. My goal was 2:35, but with the weather I guess that’s not bad.”
Fanselow won not only the men’s overall, but the men’s masters division (age 40-older) and took home a $100 cash prize for being the first runner to Cold Shivers Point and finish the race.
Rim Rock Run veteran and past winner Bernie Boettcher, 47, of Silt took second overall and in the masters division in 2:52:53.
The Rim Rock Run was 22.6 miles, but this year the race was extended to a full 26.2-mile marathon and drew 230 runners.
“That hurts,” Boettcher laughed. “I really like winning the masters at least. To come in second and not win the masters is frustrating. Hats off to Bill, he really earned it. The last three years, he’s beaten me in the shorter races. He’s come on strong. I’m proud of him.”
Fanselow and Boettcher have a friendly rivalry.
“(Boettcher) didn’t like it when I turned 40,” Fanselow said. “He has a lot of experience, but I beat him in the shorter races in Vail.”
Keri Nelson, a three-time Rim Rock Run champion, won the women’s overall title in 3:10:52.
The Gunnison 28-year-old was the sixth person to cross the finish line at James Robb Colorado River State Park.
“It was a great race,” Nelson said. “When I reached the entrance station (on the Fruita side) I wished it was the finish line, but the extra four miles is not that big of a deal when you run that many miles.”
Jane Tunnadine was the second woman to cross the finish line and first in the women’s masters division. The 42-year-old Rim Rock Run veteran from Gunnison finished in 3:28:17.
“I felt good,” Tunnadine said. “I sprained my ankle and took the summer off. I ran 15 miles a couple weeks ago. I felt fresh, almost too rested.”
She was one of eight runners over age 40 to finish in the top 20.
Fanselow was sidelined with Achilles’ tendinitis most of the summer.
“It worked out well,” Fanselow said. “Normally, I don’t race this late in the year.”
Fanselow usually runs 10-kilometer to 12-kilometer races in the mountains, but has never run a marathon, mostly because marathon courses are flat.
“That’s what I focused on,” he said. “You couldn’t get me to do a flat marathon. I love the ups and downs. I’ve been trying to qualify for the World Marathon Championships. I don’t have the leg speed for flat marathons. The mountain runs equalize the race. It’s about strength.”
Fanselow, didn’t get into running, or much exercise for that matter, until he was 23 years old.
“I was a loser in high school and college,” he said. “I was the partying type. I did a triathlon on a challenge by a friend and was hooked.”
He gave up triathlons and focused on bicycling. It wasn’t until 2003 when Fanselow concentrated solely on running.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I probably would prefer going entrance to entrance (of the Colorado National Monument).
“The last three miles was hard. I got in a rhythm on the downhill then it was flat and that was brutal. The last three miles seemed longer than the previous eight to 10 miles.”