WELLS — The 32nd Annual Race to the Angel was held in Wells on Saturday.
“We call this race the Angel Lake Extreme Half Marathon and Hill Climb for a reason,” said Anne Simmons, Ruby Mountain Relay race director. “Angel Lake sits at 8,380 feet above sea level. That’s 2,750 feet higher than the starting line! Our finishers are warriors.”
Soren Moller, the first runner across the finish line, agrees. Although he made it look easy by finishing the grueling course in 1:59:18, he said, of the 22 half marathons he’s competed in, this was the most challenging.
Moller, who lives in West Jordan, Utah, is originally from Denmark. He said that it is ironic he likes to climb mountains.
“There are zero mountains in Denmark,” he said. “The one thing we call a mountain there is only 459 feet above sea level.”
Other winners in the Race to the Angel were Rue Chitwood Byer, the top female runner with a time of 2:07:04. The top walkers were Gerry Pennington in the male division with a time of 4:23:05 and Jamie Calton of Wells in the female division with a time of 3:34:25.
Jim Owen was the first mountain bike finisher at 1:37:25. Mary Jo Wright was the first street bike female competitor who crossed the finish line after 1:21:51. She participated in the race along with her father, John Wright. They joined Michael and Margaret McCArthy as father-daughter duos in the race.
Paul Hughes is a repeat male top finisher in the street bike division with a time of 1:01:37. He won the race in 2016 as well.
The Ruby Mountain Relay would like to thank the volunteers and sponsors who helped this race happen, especially Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital. Like all RMR events, the Race to the Angel raises funds for the Northern Nevada Autism Network.
The RMR’s next race is the Turkey Trot on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. To register or for more information, see rubymountainrelay.com.