Canadian Rob Krar finishes second at Leadville Trail Marathon

Canadian Rob Krar finishes second at Leadville Trail Marathon

veteran ultrarunner Rob Krar nabbed second place at the Leadville Trail Marathon in Leadville, Colo., on Saturday, leading a pack of four Canadians who cracked the top 12 in the 42.2-km race. The 46-year-old Krar, who hails from Hamilton, Ont., crossed the finish line in 3:42:23, earning him a spot on the podium between Scott Spillman of Denver, who won the marathon in 3:36:52, and Frank Pipp of Longmont, Colo., who placed third with 3:45:02.

Leadville Trail Marathon 2023
Photo: Life Time

The trails of Leadville are familiar terrain for Krar, who won the Leadville Trail 100—the former mining town’s flagship 100-mile race—in 2014 (16:09:32) and 2018 (15:51:57). Krar, now based in Flagstaff, Ariz., is also a three-time winner of the Western States 100-mile endurance run, with consecutive wins from 2013 to 2015.

His effort at Saturday’s marathon topped off several strong performances by Canadians on the Leadville course. Molly Hurford of Collingwood, Ont., ran 4:38:53 to finish eighth in the female category. (The canadian running contributor placed second in the women’s 80K race at last year’s Quebec Mega Trail (11:51:56), and claimed top honors—in the women’s category and overall—at last year’s Outlaw 100 Oklahoma (23:53:42). Topping the women’s podium at Leadville this year were Ellie Pell of Boulder (4:02:14), Emma Sjolund of Leadville (4:19:09) and Christina Bauer of Flagstaff (4:24:06).

leadville course
Photo: Life Time

Two other Canadians barely missed squeezing into the top 10. Reid Burrows of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB, winner of last year’s 50K Sulfur Springs trail race, ran 3:54:03 to finish 11th in the men’s category. Madeline Wighardt of Ancaster, Ont., who placed second in the women’s category at last year’s Quebec Mega Trail 110K, finished 12th in the women’s category with 4:46:13.

Lonnie Clark of Colorado Springs, Colo. (5:36:51) and Mads Holm Hansen of Denmark (7:18:24) were the finishers in the marathon’s non-binary category.

Leadville marathon 2023
Photo: Life Time

Taking top spots in the Leadville Heavy Half—a course of just over 25 km—were Jeff Cuno of Albuquerque, NM (2:02:20), Devin Vennard of Leadville (2:03:30) and Ethan Goldman of Denver (2:20:10). The top three women were Ali Kallner of Denver (2:13:53), Kylah Ricks of Colorado Springs (2:19:54) and Hannah Campbell of Lakewood, Colo. Jessi Friedman orf Leadville was the finisher in the non-binary category (3:57:44).

Saturday’s races drew around 1,500 runners representing six countries and all 50 US states. The marathon and Heavy Half events typically take runners up to around 4,018 meters at Mosquito Pass, the highest continuous pass in the United States. Despite organizers’ efforts to clear Mosquito Pass, due to Leadville’s colder spring that brought snow and freezing temperatures, both courses were altered to turn around slightly below the summit. Additional mileage was added elsewhere to maintain the course distances.

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