Parr surprised to break 12-year-old Rim Rock Run record

The winner of the Rim Rock Run men’s race Tim Parr.



The winner of the womans race Keri Nelson.



Timmy Parr had a number in mind: 2:14.29.

That’s the age-group record for men ages 25-29 in the Rim Rock Run.

As he ran the final few yards of the course Saturday morning that winds up, over and down the Colorado National Monument, he was hoping he would hear a number below that.

He did — 2:06.51.

Not only did Parr shatter Greg Shabron’s four-year-old age-group mark, he shaved 17 seconds off the men’s overall course record of 2 hours, 7 minutes, 8 seconds, a mark set by Paul Rosser in 1996.

“I went out hoping to run an age-group record and ended up running 2:06,” he said. “I thought I was at 2:13, 2:14.

It was a little surprising. It was a great day out there, just fantastic.”

The race directors dangled a $100 bonus for the first male and female runner to reach Cold Shivers Point, a little more than four miles into the 22.5-mile (37 kilometers) race. Parr picked that up, as did the women’s overall winner, Keri Nelson.

Nelson won her third straight women’s title and plans to be back to try for an unprecedented fourth women’s title next year.

She was a late entrant, wearing No. 195 because of a bicycle accident that left her with an injured shoulder. There was never a doubt she would run, though.

“I was planning on doing it since last year,” she said after finishing in 2:35.36, a bit off her pace last year, 2:34.14 and well off Leanne Whitesides’ age-group record of 2:28.52 for women ages 25-29. Whitesides won back-to-back women’s titles in 1999 and 2000 and is a three-time winner, winning again in 2004.

Parr said the Cold Shivers bonus helped set the pace. He and Austin Vigil, a former Fruita Monument runner who now lives in Fort Collins, were pushing one another for that bonus.

Vigil finished second overall in 2:09.09 and Duncan Callahan of Gunnison was third in 2:15.12.

“I’m a naturally good uphill runner and I figured I’d go for that and try to have a minute on everybody, and I only had about 20 seconds,” Parr said. “I was just wanting to maintain.

“Austin caught up with me and we ran through about mile seven together and I was finally able to get a little distance on him. I was just trying to maintain (the lead), that’s all I was trying to do, maintain the gap I had.”

Nelson, who moved from Grand Junction to Gunnison last summer, loves running over the monument.

“I’ve been coming down every weekend the last few weeks,” she said of her training for the Rim Rock, admitting the monument still beckons her.

“If you’re going to run on the road, there’s no better place,” she said. “They do a great job putting it on.”

Nelson finished 10th overall. Like many of the runners, she enjoys the start of the race.

“I’m an uphill runner, so I really enjoy the first part,” she said. “The last part just kind of hurts. You’re just ready for it to be over with.”


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