Craig native Clint Wells runs big in Boston Marathon
Moffat County graduate wins race’s Master’s Division
April 23, 2016
One of the most prestigious races in the world took place earlier this week, and among the fleet of foot from across the globe were those who have called Craig home.
Craig native Clint Wells won the Master's Division of the 120th Boston MarathonMaster’s Division of the 120th Boston Marathon, held Monday, with a time of two hours, 24 minutes, 55 seconds in the 26.2-mile race., held Monday, with a time of two hours, 24 minutes, 55 seconds in the 26.2-mile race.
Master's Division of the 120th Boston Marathon, held Monday, with a time of two hours, 24 minutes, 55 seconds in the 26.2-mile race.
Wells, about two weeks shy of his 41st birthday at the time, had the best time of any runner 40 or older, 17th overall.
The finish earned the 1993 Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School graduate $10,000, though the chance to be part of the experience was reward enough. graduate $10,000, though the chance to be part of the experience was reward enough.
Moffat County High School graduate $10,000, though the chance to be part of the experience was reward enough.
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"It's almost like the pinnacle for a lot of people, maybe because of the history or because you have to have a qualifying time to get into it," he said. "It's definitely a goal amongst elites to run Boston. I've done so many races and big events, and it's not too different than anything I've ever done, but the energy there was a lot higher than other races due to the amount of people cheering you on."
Currently living in Boulder, Wells made a name for himself while running track and cross country at MCHS, a two-time state champion in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter run events, a previous state record holder in each race, as well as a state champ in cross country and state track MVP his senior year.
While competing at University of Colorado, Wells was a four-time All-American and made it to the Olympic trials in the steeplechase in 1996 and 2000 and the 5-kilometer in 2004.
Friend and former coach Gary Tague attested to Wells' long list of accomplishments.
"Above all, Clint is a man of positive character that has gone on in life and represented MCHS, Craig, the Western Slope and all of Colorado in a way that makes us proud," Tague said.
A plethora of running honors have followed throughout the years — including wins of the Denver Marathon, Bahamas Marathon and Twin Cities Marathon — for the athlete who still has yet to slow down at this point in his life, he's currently living in Boulder and a trainer for the Boulder Track Club. Several of his colleagues also are running the marathon.
Wells' first time competing in the Boston event also was marked by poignancy thinking about the details that happened in 2013, when the high enthusiasm typical of the race was replaced by panic when a bombing attack that killed six and injured hundreds.
"It's increased the awareness of the event, and the people who put it on were discussing security and how they feel like it's gone back to normal this year," he said.
Wells was not the only person in Bean Town with Craig ties — current resident Randy Morton ran the event for the third time, an experience that had both pros and cons.
On one hand, his official time was 4:12.40, well past his personal best, and the Craig 60-year-old is still unsure how he ran that way.
"I always thought I could never imagine running that slow unless I was really sick or badly injured or the conditions were terrible, and I didn't have any of those excuses," he said.
In spite of this, the time before, during and after the race was hugely enjoyable, as he and other racers were treated as celebrities.
"Everybody's saying, 'congratulations' while you're wearing your Boston shirt, and even in the Denver airport people were saying that," he said. "Every other race I've done, you're pretty much ignored, but you wear that Boston Marathon shirt, it impresses people. It's unlike any other event that I've done."
Morton runs marathons and other longer events regularly throughout the year — "probably too many" he estimates — including in Chicago and New York and the upcoming Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins and a 200-mile road relay near Gunnison, his leg amounting to more than 50 miles.
"It's a challenge regardless of if you're the best or mediocre, and I like challenges," he said of his motivation for running.
Another upcoming event involving speed may be smaller, but it's one that means a lot in Northwest Colorado. The Clint Wells Invitational takes place Friday at MCHS.
While Wells will not be able to attend the track and field meet that bears his name, his appreciation is vast for the community in which he grew up that has honored him in such a way, receiving a multitude of emails, texts and other communications recently that let him know he is still viewed as something of a hometown hero.
"I'd just say thanks to all the people who continue to support me and encourage my athletics," he said. "I'm still really enjoying what I'm doing, I do it for fun, and I just happen to have had a lot of success. Part of that is due to the support of my family, friends I grew up with and the friends I run with now."
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.