Ortiz, Weiland tame Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Ortiz, Weiland tame Beaver Creek

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Any day’s a good day to run for Anita Ortiz.

“It was slippery. It was fine,” Ortiz said after Saturday’s Summer Solstice 10-kilometer race at Beaver Creek. “Muddy and wet is fun. I like running in everything.”

Ortiz topped the women’s field in 51 minutes, 14 seconds, which is a nice little warm-up for what she’s doing next weekend – the Western States 100.

That would be a 100-mile running race from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., near Lake Tahoe.

“I’ve never done a 100,” Ortiz said. “I did a 100K about a month ago. It took me nine hours, but that’s only 63 miles.”

To her credit, she said that quite matter-of-factly, but that’s why she’s Anita Ortiz and the rest of us are not.

Dan Weiland took top honors among the guys, completing the jaunt up to Red Tail Camp in 43:40.

“For me it’s training. It’s a fun way for me to get more fitness,” Weiland said. ” I’m just trying to get my legs ready for the three days of going non-stop, and see what happens.”

Weiland will be competing in the Untamed New England Adventure Race next month centered around Dixville Notch, N.H., where he’ll be paddling, running, hiking and so on.

Course holds up

It is worth noting that mere mortals who do not plan on scaling summits or bungee-jumping off cliffs came out for the Summer Solstice, the first race of the La Sportiva Trail Running Series.

The event drew nearly 200 runners and mud was definitely the theme of the day after a lot of rain on Saturday.

“The course was actually in good shape, I thought, for how much rain we got today,” Weiland said. “You like the temperature more than the rain itself. The mud will slow you down. You have to figure out what shoes you’re going to wear. It gets slick out there. I saw one person who looked like he took a full-on header.”

Happily not falling into that category were Laura Holck of Okoboji, Iowa, and Stephanie Russell of Sioux City, Iowa, who both attend Iowa State, but are out here for the summer.

“As you can see, we did have white shoes,” Holck said, pointing down at newly brown-colored sneakers.

“It was very different than any race we had in Iowa, that’s for sure,” Russell said. “It was fun. We did the 5K. It was definitely challenging. There were some pretty big hills.”

Locals came in force as well. Eagle Valley cross country coach Melinda Brandt showed her chops by winning the women’s 5K race.

“I like to run these and I try to convince my athletes to run them,” she said. “I’m still working on that. I had some kids do the mud run for the Teva Games, so now we need to get them out here.”

The running series continues July 5 with the 33rd annual Vail HillClimb.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.