Wyatt Villa runs ahead of a pack during the half marathon at the Steamboat Marathon Sunday. It was Villa’s first ever half marathon, and he placed 23rd, recording a time of 1:31:58. Villa was one of seven Craig runners to place in the top 50 in the race.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Wyatt Villa runs ahead of a pack during the half marathon at the Steamboat Marathon Sunday. It was Villa’s first ever half marathon, and he placed 23rd, recording a time of 1:31:58. Villa was one of seven Craig runners to place in the top 50 in the race.

Craig runners place highly at Steamboat Half-marathon

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Dale Makai (No. 1474) runs with Ben Leitz of Windsor and ahead of Jonathan Wells of Castle Rock during the half marathon race at the Steamboat Marathon Sunday. Makai placed ninth in the race with a time of 1:24:37.

Results …

Steamboat half-marathon Top-50 finishers from Craig:

(Name, Place, Time)

Todd Trapp, 2nd, 1:19:37

Dale Makai, 9th, 1:24:37

Rene Molina, 12th, 1:26:17

Wyatt Villa , 23rd, 1:31:58

Trinidad Loya III, 30th, 1:34:11

David Pressgrove, 32nd, 1:34:57

Jennifer Pressgrove, 50th, 1:39:02

With over 800 runners hailing from Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Boulder and Steamboat Springs, among others, the competition in the Steamboat Half-Marathon was steep.

But Craig bested all its larger Colorado counterparts, placing seven runners in the top 50, more than any other city represented in the race.

Craig was led by Todd Trapp, who finished second with a time of 1:19:37. Trapp met his goal time in the race, but was hoping to win the race as well.

“My goal was to run between 1:20 and 1:25, so to be under 1:20 was something I was happy with,” Trapp said. “It’s tough because I wanted to win the race, but the other guy ran tougher.”

Campbell Ilfrey, 38, of Louisville, won the race by 38 seconds.

Next came a trio of runners who recently finished their running careers at Moffat County High School. Dale Makai finished ninth in 1:24:37 while running with Derek Duran’s bib, Rene Molina was 12th, finishing in 1:26:17, and Wyatt Villa was 23rd in a time of 1:31:58.

For the former Bulldogs, it was their first ever half marathon. Villa said he didn’t follow any training program set up specifically for half marathons, but simply started going on longer runs after the school year.

“Trapp kind of gave us tips and advice on how to train, but pretty much I just started going on longer runs,” Villa said. “It takes more dedication, because you’re there even longer than you would be during track practice. And it’s just you, but you still have to do it.”

The result of that training was three stellar finishes. Villa said he was pleased with the way he was able to pace himself throughout the race. He enjoyed the experience enough to be thinking about running more in the future.

“I might like to do (another half) somewhere down the road,” he said. “And I don’t think I’ll be doing a full marathon this year, but I’d think about it in a year or two.”

David Pressgrove, who also participated in the marathon, said the high schoolers were the biggest reason for Craig’s high finishes in the race.

“It helped that we had three high school guys decide to join,” Pressgrove said. “To my memory, it’s been awhile since we’ve had anything like that. And (Trapp) dropping down from the full to the half helped as well.”

Trinidad Loya III was the fifth Craig runner to finish, garnering 30th place in 1:34:11. He was followed by Pressgrove and his wife, Jennifer, who finished 32nd and 50th in 1:34:57 and 1:39:02, respectively.

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