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Portland man wins Mount Ashland Hillclimb

Ian Solof, 33, from Portland and Erin Wyner, 23, from Arcata, Calif., raced to victory Saturday in the 26th Annual Mount Ashland Hillclimb Run, a 13.3-mile run from downtown Ashland to the summit of Mount Ashland.

Solof won the men&

s race and Wyner was the top female finisher.

Both winners received a pair of shoes from sponsor Vasque. Additionally, the victors will get their names engraved on a permanent Standing Stone keg-trophy. Solof finished in — hour, 57.03 minutes. Wyner, who was ninth overall, completed the course in 2:34:46. Ashland&

s Ric Sayre, who in 1985 ran a course record of 1:42, finished second overall this year in 2:02:57.

Solof said the course was challenging.

&

That was hard,&

he said. &

I was cruising until I hit the Bull Gap trail (about mile 10), then it really started to get tough. I had to let up a bit.&

Solof had predicted he would pass the lodge around an hour and a half. He ended up passing at 1:41. He had quite a lead by then, though, and didn&

t need to push it.

Although Rogue Valley temperatures may have discouraged some, 80 people registered to compete, with many opting for the earlier and cooler 7 a.m. start time for noncompetitors.

Most participants downplayed the role of the temperature. Alex Amarotico, running the event for the first time said: &

I thought the temperature was pleasant. I didn&

t think the heat was much of a factor.&

The course is mostly under a tree canopy, so temperatures were mostly in the mid-60s. Matt Smith, 40, from San Francisco, elaborated: &

It gets cooler as you go up too: three or four degrees per thousand feet.&

The run gains 5,600 feet &

more than a vertical mile.

A thousand feet of gain occurs in the last four-tenths of a mile, up the ski slopes of Mount Ashland. No one was seen actually running this section of the course, though.

Anticipating the elevation gain, more than half of the entrants this year elected the earlier start time so that they could have an extra hour to combine walking and running. Among these early starters was the youngest competitor, Jake Van Campen, 10, and the oldest, Kenneth Deveney, 70. Both completed the course well before noon.

Race director, expressed pleasure with the weather and the turnout.

&

We had a good group this year; a lot of familiar faces but also a few new ones from Washington State, California and the Rogue Valley,&

Torsten said. &

This is a self-selecting race that is definitely not for everyone, so I am somewhat amazed each year that we get as many folks as we do and that they come from so far away. I also don&

t think there is another event in the country that gains as much altitude in 13 miles, and that is part of the appeal.

&

I really don&

t think the temperature was a big deal. I think most everyone had a good time. I know the Standing Stone beer at the lodge helps heal all wounds.&

The keg-trophy, filled with Amber Ale this year, was empty by — p.m.