DeBoom family owns HalfMarathon |

DeBoom family owns HalfMarathon

David L'Heureux

VAIL – The 2003 Teva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series season continued Sunday with the annual Vail Half Marathon.

More than 250 competitors comprised a star-studded field that took on a 13.5-mile course that climbing over 3,200 vertical feet up the slopes of Vail Mountain.

The husband and wife duo of Tim and Nicole DeBoom, triatheletes who live and train Lyons, took top honors in the men’s and women’s elite competitions.

Racers were greeted yesterday morning by sunny skies, perfect temperatures and a course that was as diabolical as it was beautiful. Vail Recreation District race director Mike Ortiz designed the course hoping to test the strength and endurance of some of the country’s premier trail runners.

“It’s a tough course,” said Ortiz. “But I think the people around here like a challenge. That’s why we do trail running, because we have so much natural beauty around here and so many awesome trails, we have to take advantage of it. That’s why we like Vail Mountain, it’s scenic and challenging.”

The field started at the base of the Vista Bahn and headed up Mill Creek Road to the bottom of Chair 11, the Northwoods Express. There the runners switched to single track and made their way up to Two Elk Lodge, across to Patrol Headquarters and around Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls on the Grand Traverse to the finish at Eagle’s Nest.

“I love this course,” said Tim DeBoom, who has won the Ironman Triathalon in Hawaii the past two years. “I’ve done it once before. My wife and I come up here because we think it’s the best race around. It’s a great training run to prepare for the Ironman later this year.”

DeBoom won the men’s race in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes, 18 seconds, setting a pace that left the rest of the field in the dust. At the ten-mile mark, he had a comfortable enough lead to cruise home on the final three-an-a-half miles across the Grand Traverse.

Mark Werner and Bryan Dayton from Boulder came in second and third, respectively. Both runners made their moves when they reached the predominately downhill stretch that comprises the Grand Traverse.

“I like the downhill sections,” said Dayton. “It’s definitely one of my strong suits. I managed to pass three guys on that home stretch.”

Nicole DeBoom reached Eagle’s Nest in a time of 2:03:19, edging local runner Anita Ortiz, who took second in a time of 2:07:52. DeBoom charged hard from the start and never looked back, an approach she says is half strategy and half necessity.

“You really only have one speed on the way up,” said DeBoom. “Even if you go slow, it’s still going to hurt, so you have to get up to that level where you’re doing the hard breathing and keep it going up the hills as fast as you can.”

Mike Ortiz made a point of crediting Teva, the Trail Running Series sponsor, as well as Steadman Hawkins Medical Center, who provided trainers and equipment, and particularly Vail Mountain and Vail Ski Patrol.

“Those guys are great,” said Ortiz. “They have been so hospitable to us all year. The ski patrol guys give us everything we need to make these events a success.”

The series continues later this summer with the Berry Picker Trail Run and the Evergold 10K on Vail Mountain. All those interested in racing can contact the VRD offices at 479-2279 to register.

Support Local Journalism