Runners speed to finish in Monument Downhill 5K

Runners start of the 5k Monument Downhill from the east entrance of the Colorado National Monument to Dos Hombres on Broadway. Runners of all abilities and ages participated in the early Saturday morning run sponsored by the Mesa Monument Striders.

Overall and men’s winner Liam Meirow, 16, of Dillon, crosses the finish line.

The overall women’s winner Tabor Scholl, 15, of Kremling, crosses the finish line.

Running downhill is hard on the legs and the knees, but boy, when you look at your time, you sure feel good.

More than 100 runners got that sensation Saturday morning in the Monument Downhill 5K, which started near the east entrance of Colorado National Monument and finished at the Redlands Dos Hombres.

It’s one of those races that if you plan to watch and arrive a few minutes late, you might miss it.

Liam Meirow, a 16-year-old from Frisco, was in that blink-of-an-eye category, finishing in 15 minutes, 42 seconds. Kevin Donoher of Grand Junction, 33, was right on his heels, only three seconds behind, followed closely by 11-year-old Tyler Scholl of Kremmling, who finished in 15:51.

An additional fun stat in the downhill race is an “age graded” time, which showed runners how they would fare against runners around the world, based on runners’ peak age of 30.

Meirow cut 31 seconds off his time in the age-graded category, which would put him in the 85th percentile and fifth in the world.

In age-graded time, anything over 90 percent is considered world class, with 80-90 percent considered national class. Donoher’s time remained the same, with a No. 8 rank in the 82nd percentile.

Scholl could be the one to watch — he graded out at 93.29 percent, dropping nearly two minutes off his actual time (13:54) and ranking him No. 1. The age-grade time figures he’s fast now at age 11 and can only get faster as he develops.

The top seven finishers all graded out in the top 9 in the world, with Dave Younger, who placed 14th overall, ranked 10th in the age-graded division. Younger’s actual time of 18:58 was converted to 16:06.

Lenny Staats of Grand Junction, 49, placed fourth Saturday in 17:08, followed by Shawn Scholl, 48, in 17:30 and Kevin O’Brian of Paonia, 54, in 17:38.

Tabor Scholl won the women’s division in 17:29, giving her an age grade of fourth (16:51). Esmerelda Martinez, 26, was second in 18:46, Stephanie Scholl, 49, third in 18:59 and Suzie Steel of Grand Junction, 52, was fourth in 19:18.

Steel’s age-graded time worked out to 16:32, the 87th percentile, and second against the world times.


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