BY NEAL REID
Glistening in sweat in the early morning sun and catching their breath, Laura Thweatt and Sean Quigley shared a fist bump after winning the men’s and women’s divisions of the Classic 10K and Circle of Hope Run at Monument Valley Park near downtown Colorado Springs Saturday.
Thweatt and Quigley, who both run for the Boulder Track Club, bested a field of more than 760 runners that wove their way through a 6.2-mile course on the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail that began at Tiffany Square. Thweatt’s time of 33 minutes, 27 seconds was a personal best and smashed the race record of 34:17 set by Colleen DeReuck in 2010, with second-place Ellie Keyser (33:47) and third-place Brianne Nelson (34:01) also finishing faster than the previous record.
“It’s beautiful, and it’s a great course, pretty quick,” said Thweatt, who ran for the University of Colorado. “I told myself that, if I felt good, I was just going to roll from the beginning, and that’s what I did. I was just hoping to hold them off, because I knew Brianne an Ellie were behind me, and I was just trying to do my best.”
Thweatt was thrilled to join her Boulder Track Club partner Quigley as race winner.
“Sean is a great guy, and I’m lucky enough to train with him, or should I say, behind him,” said Thweatt, who coaches at Monarch High School in Boulder. “We had a really strong men’s and women’s team out here today, so it was a lot of fun. It was kind of us against BRC (Boulder Running Club), which is also a very strong team, so it was exciting.”
Quigley won in 30 minutes, one second, 12 seconds ahead of former Western State runner Sean Brown, with Matthew Tebo finishing third in 30:19. Charles Kamindo’s race record of 29:30 from 2005 stayed in tact, but Quigley was pleased with his run.
“It was a fast course, and there were a few hills in there I wasn’t expecting,” Quigley said. “I felt good. I might have gotten a little slower at the end, but I felt I did enough work in the middle of the race to give myself a good enough cushion. I wasn’t out here to run fast, but just to get a race in to get ready for upcoming races.”
An early breakaway runner forced Quigley to make his move sooner than he would have liked and tested the status of his recently healed right Achilles.
“This was my first race in four months,” Quigley said. “I took it earlier than I wanted to, because a guy broke away from the pack at about a mile. I reeled him in a little bit before two miles, and then at that point, I figured I might as well just take it from there and hope I had enough to finish in front.”
The race paid out $1,400 in total prize money, with Thweatt and Quigley each taking home $250. Proceeds from the race benefited the Circle of Hope Fund, which helps area cancer patients pay day-to-day living expenses.