Annie Rutledge wins Tahoe Rim Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run | SierraSun.com

Annie Rutledge wins Tahoe Rim Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

Among the elite field of athletes fit enough to take on a 100-mile foot race, Annie Rutledge is a rookie. You wouldn't have known it on Saturday.

In her first attempt at such an ambitious distance, Rutledge claimed the women's victory while finishing sixth overall in the Tahoe Rim Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run.

"It was fun," Rutledge said Monday as she rewarded her legs with a cold soak in Lake Tahoe. "I would say 90 percent of the day I felt really good. My motto is 'strong and steady,' and I just had a good day out there. I had no really bad spots. If I did, it went away. It's amazing how good I felt."

Rutledge not only won, she dominated the 101.6-mile course in only her fifth year running competitively.

The 35-year-old who splits her time between Truckee and Reno achieved one of the top performances in the 15-year history of the event, crossing the Spooner Lake finish in 22 hours, 27 minutes and 12 seconds. That's the third-fastest women's time on record, behind only Nikki Kimball (20:18:00) and Claire Walton (21:46:22).

"That was the performance of the race, for sure," said event director George Ruiz.

Recommended Stories For You

Rutledge was paced by friend and training partner Jackie Clark of Tahoma, whom she paced in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run last month. Clark was supposed to run with Rutledge for the final 50 miles, but Jenny Capel of Reno closed out the final 15 after Clark felt ill.

"She (Capel) hopped on the trail with me and paced me to the finish, which was pretty awesome. She's such a great ultrarunner, and she really helped me get under 22:30," said Rutledge, whose longest race previously was the Tahoe Rim Trail 50-miler last year.

Cool running

Unlike last year, when severe thunderstorms created dangerous conditions on the exposed ridges above Tahoe's east shore, the weather was cool and dry both Saturday and Sunday. Despite the mild weather, however, Ruiz said a surprisingly high number of participants dropped, particularly in the 50- and 100-mile distances. The event also includes a 55K.

"We actually had one of our poorest finish rates. I'm trying to figure out why," Ruiz said, adding that runners might have been enticed, without the heat or rain, to go out harder than they planned.

Of the 154 runners who started the 100-mile race, 85 dropped or did not reach the finish line within the 35-hour cutoff.

Ernesto Duran had no issue. The 39-year-old from Panama City raced to the overall win in the 100-miler, posting a time of 20:49:05.

He was followed by 46-year-old Paolo Castiglioni of Davis, who finished in 21:14:24, and 51-year-old Charles Sheya of Sacramento, who crossed the line in 21:30:24. Remi Delille (21:44:07) of San Lorenzo and Patrick Schmidt (22:09:51) of San Rafael, both 33, finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Truckee resident Jenelle Potvin, 36, finished second in the women's field and 18th overall with a time of 25:10:03, while Jill Cole, 44, of Los Gatos was the third woman (26th overall) in 25:58:25.

Potvin said she had a rough go during the first half of the race but recovered well in the second half.

"In the first half I had a 10-mile low point where I was actually hoping something bad would happen so they'd have to pull me. But I'm really glad that didn't happen," said Potvin, who credited her pacers, Angela Costamagna and Audrey Staples, as well as support crew member JP Prince, for brightening her mood.

"My super positive, amazing pacers were really keeping on top of things. All I had to do was run — I kept telling myself that — and they'd take care of everything else."

Rachael Woods of Tahoe City finished sixth among women and 45th overall in 27:48:34, Roger Pynappel of Truckee placed 75th in 29:40:09, and Dan Baxley of Truckee was 105th in 31:51:42.

Ruiz said a dozen runners from Panama showed up to race, led by Duran, who has earned a name for himself in his home country.

"I talked to one of the runners from Panama, and he said Ernesto is the man there. He's like their Rob Krar," Ruiz said.

50-mile

Two-time defending 100-mile champion Bob Shebest, 41, of Santa Rosa raced the 50-mile distance this year in hopes of setting a record. Shebest, who set a new 100-mile course record last year, in 17:38:35, came up short of the 50-mile record but still captured the win with a time of 8:09:15.

"Even though he won it, he was really disappointed with himself for not getting the record," Ruiz said, adding that Shebest won the San Diego 100 a month ago. "He said after about 30 miles he was really suffering and just hanging on. But it was still an amazing run by him."

Thomas Reiss owns the Tahoe Rim Trail 50-mile record at 7:52:00, set in 2008.

Scott Dakof, 31, of Chico finished second behind Shebest in 8:46:07, while Rachel Barth, 39, of Incline Village recorded an impressive win in the women's field and placed third overall in 9:07:49.

Stuart Taylor, 40, of San Jose was fourth overall in 9:08:25, and Caren Spore, 47, of Davis was the second woman and fifth overall in 9:15:26. Geoff Quine, 43, of Truckee finished eighth in 9:33:51.

Prince, a 51-year-old Truckee resident, was 35th in 11:30:29. Jeff Reifers of Truckee was 50th (12:05:29), Kristy Oriol of Tahoe City was the 11th woman and 66th overall (12:58:31), Eric Soto of Incline Village was 70th (13:10:50), and Sharon Fong of Truckee was the 13th woman and 74th overall (13:16:24).

A total of 140 people finished the 50-miler.

55K

The tightest race of the day went down in the 55K as Truckee's Donald Montgomery, 45, and 27-year-old Paddy O'Leary of San Francisco swapped leads to the finish line. In the end O'Leary took the win with a time of 4:52:50, with Montgomery following closely behind in 4:53:18.

Jorma Gates, 44, of Santa Rosa rounded out the top three in 5:13:43, and regular contender Ross McMahan, 45, of Incline Village was fourth in 5:36:11.

Emily Peterson, 29, of San Francisco was the top female finisher and fifth overall, with a time of 5:40:01. Lindsey Bednar of Stateline was the second woman and sixth overall in 5:43:32, Jamie Adams of Kings Beach was eight overall in 5:54:22, and Truckee's Gretchen Brugman was the third woman and ninth overall in 5:56:49.

"I was pretty happy. I ran 35 minutes faster than last year," said Brugman, who has raced all three distances of the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs — and will run the Superior 100 in Minnesota in September. "It was more of a training run for me, so I was happy with how it turned out."

Truckee runner Peter Fain holds the 55K record at 4:33:00, set in 2007.

Results — 2015 TRT Endurance Runs

100-Mile (top 10, top 5 women)

1. Ernesto Duran, 20:49:05

2. Paolo Castiglioni, 21:14:24

3. Charles Sheya, 21:30:24

4. Remi Delille, 21:44:07

5. Patrick Schmidt, 22:09:51

6. Annie Rutledge, 22:27:12

7. Ryan Woodhouse, 22:40:20

8. Chris Eide, 23:11:55

9. Brian Purcell, 23:17:13

10. Michael Bursum, 23:35:11

18. Jenelle Potvin, 25:10:03

26. Jill Cole, 25:58:25

27. Christy Baker, 26:06:16

29. Sylvia Ravaglia, 26:15:03

Men’s record: Bob Shebest, 17:38:35

Women’s record: Nikki Kimball, 20:18:00

50-Mile

1. Bob Shebest, 8:09:15

2. Scott Dakof, 8:46:07

3. Rachel Barth, 9:07:49

4. Stuart Taylor, 9:08:25

5. Caren Spore, 9:15:26

6. David Wilkins, 9:19:19

7. Eric Middleton, 9:21:51

8. Geoff Quine, 9:33:51

9. Cameron Rentch, 9:43:49

10. Andy Belk, 9:47:28

14. Darcie Gorman, 10:11:08

24. Heather Stadnisky, 10:57:02

25. Sue Lee, 11:01:24

Men’s record: Thomas Reiss, 7:52:00

Women’s record: Emily Richards, 8:31:39

55K

1. Paddy O’Leary, 4:52:50

2. Donald Montgomery, 4:53:18

3. Jorma Gates, 5:13:43

4. Ross McMahan, 5:36:11

5. Emily Peterson, 5:40:01

6. Lyndsey Bednar, 5:43:32

7. Lee McKinley, 5:47:22

8. Jamie Adams, 5:54:22

9. Gretchen Brugman, 5:56:49

10. John Ostezan, 5:57:59

16. Stephanie Weigel, 6:40:35

19. Kim Kortz, 6:58:10

Men’s record: Peter Fain, 4:33:00

Women’s record: Mary Coordt, 5:22:03