Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content 'Streakers' keep Barr Trail race tradition alive

by QUENTIN SICKAFOOSE quentin.sickafoose@gazette.com - Published: July 13, 2014

Colorado Springs residents Mike Teger and Paul Sullivan typically spend 364 days per year without any form of contact with one another.

They're not running buddies and they're not best friends by any means, but they are both members of an exclusive club that has been holding strong for the past 15 years. And on Sunday morning, the two exchanged friendly conversation underneath the shade of the finish tent at the Barr Trail Mountain Race.

It was a familiar spot for Teger and Sullivan, who have competed in all 14 installments of the 12.6-mile race that begins at the Cog Railway station and climbs 3,630 feet to the top of Barr Camp before looping back down. Their continuous presence led race directors to coin the term "streakers" for the repeat competitors within the last couple of years.

"The streakers are a rare group now, almost like a presidential club these days," race director Peter Maksimow said. "It's a nice feeling when you see people return every year like that. It means the race means something to these guys."

Teger (45) and Sullivan (47) were among six streakers on hand Sunday. Their legacy lives on along with Daniel Adams (59), Andy Kovats (51), Mike Lloyd (56) and Peter Tonsits (52).

"It's kind of funny, we're just a bunch of middle-aged dudes out here every year," said Sullivan, who was sporting his race finisher T-shirt from Aug. 6, 2000. "I also have four kids who have all been out here for one race. It's like a rite of passage, although sometimes I have to bribe them with a new cellphone or something."

Despite not having trained the Barr Trail course before Sunday, Teger clocked his best time on the course, crossing the line at 2 hours, 15 minutes. He claimed that his previous races helped him reach his goal, one of them being his 3:11:58 finish at the Boston Marathon on April 21.

Teger and Sullivan stated they will return in 2015.

"It doesn't matter what happens. I could get injured and still crawl across the finish line if I had to. You just have to keep the streak alive," Teger said. "When I emailed the directors about the whole 'streaker' thing, they responded back joking I could run up naked if I wanted to. They just like seeing us back."

Gray, Erholtz take first

Team Colorado runner Brandy Erholtz took first place overall in the women's category. The 36-year-old finished more than five minutes ahead of the field with her 1:55:08and was the only woman to break the two-hour barrier.

New Colorado Springs resident Joe Gray chased the course record but fell shy, finishing in 1:29:43. He edged second-place finisher Andy Wacker by a minute and a half.

"I think I underestimated how that race would feel on tired legs. But for the most part, I felt good. It didn't beat me up too bad," Gray said. "This is a great course to get some training in and I had a good time out there."

Team Colorado runner Brandy Erholtz took first place overall in the women's category. The 36-year-old finished more than five minutes ahead of the field with her 1:55:08 time. Erholtzand was the only woman to break the two-hour barrier.

New Colorado Springs resident Joe Gray chased the course record but fell shy, finishing in 1:29:43. He edged second-place finisher Andy Wacker by a minute and a half.

"I think I underestimated how that race would feel on tired legs. But for the most part, I felt good. It didn't beat me up too bad," Gray said. "This is a great course to get some training in and I had a good time out there."

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