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Manitou grad wins Colfax Marathon, sets course record
Trent Briney nearly made the Olympic team in the marathon eight years ago, and he broke the Colfax Marathon record Sunday, claiming a $1,000 bonus on a perfect morning for running.
But in a lot of ways he was like the thousands of ordinary runners who were just out doing what they love. They might have a hard time identifying with him — Briney averaged 5:45 per mile to win in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 26 seconds — but he sure could empathize with them.
"I have a lot in common with that everyday runner," said Briney, 33. "We're the same thing. We both have to get our (rears) out of bed, we both have to get to 10 miles in a half marathon or 20 miles in a marathon and keep going. That thought process is what we all have in common."
Nearly 8,400 ran in the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay or 10-miler. Briney works five days a week at the Boulder Running Co., so he respects the ordinary runner.
"The amount of time in our life that we dedicate to the sport goes up at the elite level, but we're rewarded more," Briney said. "It's exciting to finish a marathon, but it's really exciting to win one. So in some ways, it's easier."
Two other Colfax records fell Sunday. Patrick Rizzo of Boulder won the half marathon in 1:08:09, and Brianne Nelson of Fort Collins claimed the women's half in 1:17:04.
Briney graduated from Manitou Springs High School and ran for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. At the 2004 Olympic Trials, he finished fourth with a time of 2:12:35 and missed making the team by 32 seconds. He was only 48 seconds behind Meb Keflezighi, who would go on to win a silver medal at the Athens Games.
Briney dropped out of the marathon Olympic Trials this year, but he intends to make a bid for the team in 2016, when he will be 37.
And in the meantime, he just might try running an ultra.
"Why not?" Briney said. "It sounds crazy, but it's kind of fun. Just like the marathon, when you get to 20, you're like, 'Argh, six more miles!' But it would be cool."