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Solof, Wyner win in Ashland

ASHLAND ' 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 event from downtown Ashland to the summit of Mount Ashland.

Solof won the men's race, and Wyner was the top female finisher.

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 1:42:00, finished second 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 in about 1&

189; hours. It took him 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 heat.

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 in the mid-60s. Matt Smith, 40, from San Francisco, said: It gets cooler as you go up, too, — or 4 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 appeared to be 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.