RUN-DOWN NELSON STILL PUTS PERSONAL BEST
By MARTIN HINES
Grand Junction resident Keri Nelson needed to not only overcome the daunting terrain and the possibility of treacherous weather conditions but also illness on her way to the finish line of Sundays Pikes Peak Marathon.
Because she worried about making the bronchitis she had been battling for the past two weeks worse after exacerbating her condition in last weeks Leadville Trail 100 race, Nelson considered dropping out of the race before finally opting to make the best of it.
For Nelson, the decision paid off with her personalbest time of 4 hours, 39 minutes, which was good enough to put her ahead of runner-up Bronwyn Morrissey by nearly 40 minutes.
Honestly, if you would have asked me this morning if I was going to run a 4:38, I would have told you no way, Nelson said. I was expecting it to be more like a 5:38.
… I think having bronchitis actually helped because I paced myself on the way up and on the downhill, which turned out to work pretty well.
Last year, Nelson started out strong. She was first to the summit with a time of 2:57:12, which was 17 minutes ahead of eventual winner Salynda Fleury.
Because she pushed so hard on the ascent, Nelson became overheated and finished 11 minutes behind Fleury.
I felt great last year on the uphill climb, but coming down I got a bit of heatstroke, she said. I started kind of throwing up and ended up getting passed by Salynda just a couple miles out and I ended up in second.
It was a learning lesson for me last year and I definitely paced myself a little better this year. I came into it with a different attitude and go out and enjoy it as best as I could.
Copyright 2008, The Gazette, a division of Freedom Colorado Information. All rights reserved. Used with permission.