Horgan-Kobelski, Irmiger win US marathon titles

For the second year in a row, the husband-wife duo of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) won the US marathon national championships at the Firecracker 50 on the Fourth of July holiday in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Horgan-Kobelski defends marathon title

On a picture perfect day in Breckenridge, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) overcame a four-minute deficit due to a flat tire, to make it two marathon titles in a row. Teammate Sam Schultz led the race for part of a lap, but settled for second place when JHK finally passed him. Colorado favorite Dave Weins (Topeak-Ergon) seemed stronger as the race progressed. He finished third. Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) also moved up in the late stages to finish fourth, while road racer Burke Swindlehurst finished fifth.

The US Marathon National Championships are part of the extremely popular Firecracker 50-mile race. This year the race sold out again and had 750 racers at the starting line for its 10th edition. The crowds in Breckenridge were enormous, with some spectators claiming viewing positions along the street as early as 6:00 am. There was face painting, parade floats, horses, balloons, and just about everything you might expect for a Fourth of July celebration.

The racers started on Main Street and were treated to a four-mile, 1200-vertical-foot climb up Boreas Pass Road. By the top of the road, JHK and Peter Stetina had a gap and were pulling away.

"The race was harder from the gun than last year," said Horgan-Kobelski. "I felt good but we were suffering. I was riding over my limit but stretched out a gap on the singletrack. But then I flatted on a descent and had to throw in a tube."

At the first descent into French Gulch, JHK had opened a gap over Stetina by one minute. Behind him Ryan Trebon (Kona) was descending well with Sam Schultz on his wheel. By the time JHK was dealing with his flat, Schultz found himself in the race lead.

When asked how this felt, Schultz said, "I was hoping that JHK could come back because this is a lot of pressure. I started feeling cramps coming. I managed to pound a bunch of fluids and hang in there. Unfortunately Stetina was climbing like a maniac."

Both JHK and Schultz heavily complimented Stetina's climbing ability. Schultz said, "he was a class act and just pulled over on the singletrack (where Schultz is more experienced) and let me go ahead."

By the time they were descending from Lincoln Hill on the first 25-mile lap, JHK had slipped to sixth place. Schultz, Stetina, Swindlehurst, and Bishop had all moved ahead. But by the next climb out to the start/finish, JHK had passed all but Stetina and Schultz.

"I had told myself I had two hours to catch back up. I was encouraged when I was able to see Sam and Peter going through the start finish only about a minute ahead of me," said Horgan-Kobelski. By the end of the race, JHK had build up a six-minute margin of victory over the entire field.

Behind the leaders, Dave Wiens started to make a move. He passed at least six riders in just the last lap alone. Bishop managed to pick off Colin Cares on the last lap also. Swindlehurst seemed to ride consistently fast lap times but also was passed on the last half lap by Wiens and Bishop.

This race was full of drama. Not only did JHK have to come back from a long way back to claim the win, Stetina's bike broke on the last lap. He crashed hard and suffered a shoulder injury. Andy Schultz (Kenda / Felt) crashed on a steep descent during the first lap, banged his head hard, and withdrew. Trebon, apparently suffering with the altitude, was force to walk his bike a long distance.

This is the second year in a row that both the men's and women's races have been won on 29-inch wheel bikes. A turning point in the sport seems to be taking place. The Subaru-Trek team no longer even brings their 26-inch wheeled bikes to races.

Most of the pro cross country racers will head to the US Pro XCT finals next weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Irmiger makes it two in a row

Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) pulled away from her rivals today to win by a convincing seven-minute margin over Amy Dombroski (Luna Team), who rode to her best Firecracker finish ever. An elated Krista Park (Incycle/Cannondale) finished third after riding much of the race in second place. She was less than a minute behind Dombroski. Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe's), a two-time winner of the event, finished fourth, and Kelly Boniface (Moots) finished in fifth place.

Pua Sawicki (Okole Stuff.com), last year's runner-up, again found herself with Irmiger at the top of the Boreas Pass Climb. Irmiger managed to open up a two-minute gap on the singletrack leading to Sally Barber Road. Soon after, Sawicki withdrew from the race due to a brake failure.

"My team told me that Pua was out, but I didn't really know who else was there so it didn't really matter," said Irmiger after the race. I was having some cramping so the French Gulch climb felt hard the second time. I'm glad I'm here (at the finish) and I made it."

Dombroski seemed to gain steam as the race progressed. "I started a bit conservatively. I've done this race a few times. I know it is easy to go out too hard, and at this altitude you never come back," said Dombroski. "I faded for a little while and then kind of got a second wind."

Park was hoping for a top three finish so that she would automatically qualify for marathon Worlds. She was literally glowing at the finish. "I'm happy. I rode half the race in second, but Amy had more than I did at the end."

Irmiger, along with her husband Horgan-Kobelski, will now try to defend their cross country national championship titles at Sol Vista, Colorado, in two weeks.

"I want to be fast for the national championships, the next World Cups, and the World Championships," said Irmiger. "I'm aiming to win every race from here on out - just going for wins. It's very straightforward."

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek)3:35:59
2Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek)0:06:18
3David Wiens0:11:28
4Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale)0:14:26
5T Burke Swindlehurst0:15:13
6Braden Kappius (Clif Bar)0:16:16
7Michael Mccalla (Scott/Magura)0:16:29
8Jeff Schalk (Trek Mountain Co-Op)0:22:10
9Travis Scheefer0:22:12
10Tim Allen (Niner)0:22:50
11Jake Wells0:22:50
12Matthew Beaton (Tokyo Joe's)0:25:03
13Barkley Robinson (Orange Peel)0:26:04
14Nate Bird (Honey Stinger)0:27:42
15Colby Pearce0:31:54
16John Curry (GAS/Intrinsik)0:34:52
17Ryan Trebon (Kona)0:35:21
18Brandon Dwight (Boulder Cycle Sports)0:36:20
19Doug Johnson0:38:01
20Shawn Meredith (All Mtn Racing)0:41:14
21Daniel Matheny0:44:15
22Jeffrey Kerkove (Team Topeak-Ergon)0:44:54
23Bradford Sims0:45:24
24Shannon Boffeli0:46:03
25Nick Truitt (PCL Construction)0:47:50
26Spencer Powlison (Mafia Racing)0:48:58
27Doug Andrews0:49:55
28Katriel Statman (Pioneer Racing)0:50:13
29Robert Marion (American Classic)0:54:26
30James Morgan (Eriksen Cycles)0:58:57
31Matthew Simmons (ProCycling)1:01:05
32Peter Ostroski1:01:19
33Drew Edsall (Yeti)1:02:19
34Ty Hansen (Revolution)1:03:06
35Phil Grove (Sportsman Ski Haus)1:03:12
36Camden Kirkpatrick1:04:50
37Ernesto Marenchin1:05:21
38Chris Peariso (Adventure 212/Specialized)1:07:25
39Macky Franklin (Yeti - Sunflower)1:09:43
40Alan Adams (Hagens Berman)1:14:31
41Mitchell Peterson (Giant)1:30:16
42Alexander Grant (Cannondale)2:00:10
43Evan Halladay2:26:49
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek)4:16:49
2Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team)0:06:57
3Krista Park (Cannondale/Incycle)0:07:48
4Gretchen Reeves0:15:42
5Kelly Boniface (Moots)0:17:50
6Rebecca Rusch (Specialized / Red Bull)0:21:16
7Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)0:28:51
8Sonya Looney0:45:06
9Cheryl Sornson (Team CF)0:52:42
10Jennifer Hanks1:04:57
11Carol Clemens (Gretna Bikes)1:21:24
12Jill Damman (Fitzgerald's/Ibex Cl)1:38:57
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Men Singlespeed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cameron Brenneman4:04:45
2Dax Massey0:10:46
3Mark Thompson0:25:44
4Charles Hayes0:27:59
5Will Inverso0:29:34
6David Wilson0:32:50
7Dejay Birtch0:33:09
8Mike Hileman0:34:33
9Jake Kirkpatrick0:34:49
10Nathan Miller0:35:03
11William Schiano0:44:03
12Shawn Gregory0:45:05
13Greg Martin0:51:00
14Russel Henderson0:52:33
15Dan Durland0:58:03
16Bryan Kramer0:58:30
17Charles Parmain1:00:55
18Charlie Dunn1:06:34
19Lewis Perna1:10:48
20Jared Franzoia1:22:09
21William Herringer1:35:05
22Judd Rohwer1:48:39
23Brian Johnson2:00:32
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Women Singlespeed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amy Hermes5:12:20
2Hillary Hienton0:07:43
3Andrea Wilson0:15:29
4Jessica Bernstein0:18:41
5Amy Owens0:51:18
6Pamela Davis1:01:36
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Men 19-29
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stevie Cullinan4:13:23
2Peter Kalmes0:02:33
3Jonathan Schottler0:08:57
4Joseph Petrowski0:11:12
5Jason Holbrook0:20:46
6Cole Oberman0:27:06
7Andy Hagemann0:33:08
8Nathan Brown0:39:29
9Aaron Hugen0:44:06
10Tyler Eaton0:48:50
11Shaun Radley0:52:48
12Patrick Charlton1:00:39
13Daniel Gerow1:11:33
14Josh Whitney1:13:54
15Seth Smekal1:15:34
16Brandon Newcomer1:16:30
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Men 30-34
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Benjamin Aufderheide4:02:08
2Paul Gorbold0:14:12
3Michael Scott0:28:22
4Chris Smithwick0:47:00
5Charlie Nowacki0:48:04
6Robb Parsons0:49:19
7Darian Founds0:55:13
8Jason Kolar1:08:48
9Ryan Feagan1:16:05
10Joshua Vogt1:19:55
11Kenny Rowe1:20:22
12Stephen Glover1:29:21
13Matthew Perry1:33:05
14Lawrence Herrera1:52:25
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Men 35-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Will White4:16:51
2Michael Schoenly0:00:12
3Aaron Small0:03:29
4Ezekiel Hersh0:06:00
5Joel Mischke0:12:17
6Gerald Oliver0:15:08
7Aaron Nydam0:17:01
8Ryan Sutter0:17:07
9Brian Krombein0:17:10
10Jeff Cospolich0:17:44
11Chad Edwards0:21:58
12Patrick Coady0:22:57
13Robert Batey0:24:58
14Ryan Krayer0:28:49
15Mike Doody0:31:19
16David Wert0:33:43
17Paul Desrosiers0:35:43
18Amir Alrubaiy0:35:47
19Bill Frielingsdorf0:37:19
20Damon Gilbert0:38:14
21Blake Mourer0:40:35
22Leslie Handy0:41:16
23Jonathan Davis0:42:42
25Brian Taylor0:56:10
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Men 40-49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Webber4:03:36
2Michael Hogan0:05:38
3Frank Gonzalez0:10:32
4Donald Powell0:10:40
5S David Schulhofer0:13:47
6Joseph Cooper0:14:30
7Ward Baker0:17:50
8Kelly Niquette0:20:02
9Dave Muscianisi0:20:51
10Tim Zandbergen0:24:27
11Ted Macblane0:24:36
12Todd Smith0:25:20
13Ed Tokarski0:25:30
14Tony Farrar0:29:45
15Warren Oldham0:34:51
16Michael Scanlon0:36:41
17Scott Tanner0:39:40
18Curt Wilhelm0:40:11
19Jeffrey Rank0:41:37
20Greg Scanlan0:48:30
21Ron Gruber0:50:11
22Timothy Bauer0:52:29
23M Sutter0:53:16
25Carlos Vulgamott1:00:42
26Rodrigo Gil Moreno De Mora1:02:51
27Jim Hebert1:06:41
28Vernon Harris1:16:07
29Richard Miller1:18:20
30Larry Kintner1:21:59
31Michael Hillenbrand1:32:15
32Tim Poppe1:32:55
33Grant Clayton1:40:24
34Robert Young1:55:15
35Matthias Jezek2:12:05
36Chad Yetka2:14:18
37Bryan Caylor2:23:06
38Stephen Howard2:30:18
39Thomas Seybold2:41:25
40Chad Nay2:41:59
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Men 50-59
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Stanley4:39:49
2Mark Gouge0:00:26
3Mark Hershberger0:01:54
4Keith Sanders0:03:48
5Robert Coreale0:03:57
6Russell Asleson0:07:24
7Eric Davis0:07:58
8Alan Rishel0:08:00
9Jeff Good0:08:40
10Pat D'innocenzo0:16:38
11Todd Fox0:17:59
12Philip Schweizer0:18:31
14Matthew Allen0:26:47
15Jan Bear0:30:28
16Dawes Wilson0:35:51
17Mark Hogan0:41:08
18Larry Price0:47:00
19Pete Watson1:00:27
20Bruce Rabun1:25:51
21Mark Cox1:35:45
22Christopher Ludwig1:57:03
23James Argabright2:09:40
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Men 60+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dwight Hibdon4:59:37
2Glenn Town0:02:10
3Steve Becker0:09:26
4Hunter Smith0:48:33
5Lee Cannon0:50:31
6Allan Marvin0:52:01
7Gary Peterson1:06:45
8Charles Snyder1:22:50
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Women 19-29
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brenda Moczygemba5:27:23
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Women 30-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kennon Roeber5:07:54
2Kim Baugh0:43:30
3Tracy Hankinson1:27:37
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Women 40-49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anne Gonzales4:52:02
2Sheri Boltz0:02:39
3Coreen Wright0:09:52
4Melissa Trainer0:19:25
5Roxzanne Feagan0:56:45
6Karen Rishel0:59:21
7Maria Perez1:52:07
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Women 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amy Harris5:09:51
2Ellen Guthrie0:18:33
3Sharon Mcdowell-Larsen0:19:06
4Devora Peterson1:53:35

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