Andy Wacker returned to a familiar place Sunday at the Summer Roundup 12K.
The course may have changed its look due to last year's flooding, but that didn't faze Wacker, who finished first for the second consecutive year. Although Wacker, 25, has run the race just twice, he may be building the beginning of a long winning streak.
"It's easy to be undefeated when the numbers are small," Wacker said after crossing the finish line.
His modesty understates the ease with which he won, his time of 41:02 was 29 seconds faster than his closest competitor, Colorado Springs resident Geoffrey Terer.
He finished more than two minutes ahead of the third-place finisher, Laban Sialo of Lenexa, Kan.
Wacker said he preferred the change to the course, which utilized new parts of Bear Creek Park.
"I like the change," he said. "It made it a lot more technical really, lots of twisting turns and loose sand. It made it a real trail race."
The Boulder resident used the trail race as training for the Pikes Peak Ascent.
He is one of four men (and four women) who will represent Team USA at the Pikes Peak Ascent in August. The World Mountain Running Association chose the Ascent as the site for the 11th WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge, where Wacker and Team USA will race dozens of teams from countries all over the world.
"I love being up there where there are fewer people, fewer cars, and I'm just racing the mountain goats," he said.
Running the Summer Roundup 12K is a father-daughter tradition for top female finisher Sarah Guhl. Guhl, 21, who runs cross country at Baylor, left her dad, Dave, in the dust to win her first Summer Roundup with a 55:33.
"I usually beat him," the Colorado Springs native said. "He's 57, so he has the age excuse. But he's still fast and we train together so that's a lot of fun."
Amanda Durner, who finished 14 seconds behind Guhl, started the race in sixth and slowly worked her way ahead to finish second.
"I saw the girls and I was reeling them in," Durner said. "I just picked them off one by one."
As Durner crossed the finish line, she continued to run, looking for her 18-month-old son, Rocco.
Durner, who is competing in the Triple Crown of Running series for the second year, raced in a neon yellow tank top with the words "Rocco's Runnin' Mama" printed on it. When she spotted her son in the crowd, she took off her medal and placed it over his head.
"I raced for myself for so long," she said.
"Now I'm racing for someone other than myself and that's the reason why I am racing - for Rocco to see. No matter how I do, he's always proud of me, he's the best motivation I'll ever have."