Bursell, Jahn Set Juneau Ridge Race Records

    Zach Bursell, 29, runs across the summit of Mt. Juneau during his record setting win in the Juneau Ridge Race on Sunday. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Even the heat couldn’t slow down Juneau runners Zack Bursell, 29, and Abby Jahn, 29, as they shredded the Juneau Ridge Race 15-mile mountain running course Sunday in record-breaking time.

      Bursell set the new male standard with an effort of 2 hours 11 minutes and 15 seconds and Jahn set the female course record in 2:50:40 and placed seventh overall.

      Bursell’s new record erases last year’s time of 2:14:59 set by professional runner Dakota Jones. Bursell was third last year in 2:22:57, behind Jones and Dylan Anthony (2:19:08).

      Bursell said he used a race strategy picked up from competitors in last year’s race.

      “I sort of did from last year,” Bursell said. “Dakota Jones and Dylan Anthony were pushing the pace early and got a pretty good lead going up Mount Juneau so I kind of took a page out of their book and wanted to get some separation from the rest of the field up there and make everyone else hurt a little bit for the rest of the race… just get up the mountain fast and just cruise.”

      Bursell said he was leading from the middle of the ascent up Mount Juneau to the end, “but Tracen (Knopp) from Anchorage, who came down, he was pretty close behind me pretty much the whole time. He was pushing me the whole way… living here you get a chance to scope things out. There’s a lot of navigation that can be done that is sort of off trail… I kind of had a route picked out and he, wisely I guess, just kind of followed along and took all the little fun routes that I took.”

      Jahn’s new record erases last year’s time of 2:57:07 set by local runner Rachel Phelps. Jahn was second last year in 2:58:00.

      “I got to race with a friend (Alex Burkhart) the whole time, which was awesome,” Jahn said of her record run on Sunday. “We took our time going uphill because it was very hot. And we took a break at the waterfall and then stuck together most of the time and worked together on the ridge. That was super fun.”

      Jahn said her strategy was “to stay very chill for the first climb up to the ridge and then just start picking it up from there. Last year I cramped really bad the last 10 minutes so I wanted to make sure I didn’t blast myself on the last five miles. I had a lot of pickle juice. That helped… the hardest part was the second to last climb. It looks like it is the last climb and then you get over the top and then you see that you have one more climb.”

      Despite the heat, the two champions set an aggressive pace.

      Bursell was moving at a pace that took him from the start at Cope Park, out past the governor’s mansion, past the Capitol, up Gold Street and onto Basin Road and up Perseverance Trail to the Mount Juneau Trailhead in 18 minutes 56 seconds.

      He went from the trailhead to the first checkpoint on the Mount Juneau summit in 33:44 and then along the ridge to the second checkpoint above the descent in 33:30.

      Bursell descended to the third checkpoint just above the Granite Basin falls in 13:30 and then blasted out of Granite Basin onto Perseverance, across the flume and into Cope Park in 27:45.

      “I think the hardest part was just making sure I was on top of my hydration and nutrition,” Bursell said. “The effort was fine. It is a tough race but being disciplined about, like, not losing too much electrolytes is kind of hard, like, drinking and eating doesn’t feel very good.”

      Bursell said he drank about two liters of water mixed with a hydration powder called Scratch and consumed just three GUs on the run.

      He said to train for a race like this, “it pays to run a lot of vert, like, run up some mountains. Run on some rough terrain. Knowing the course goes a long way but… a lot of uphills in the training and some good long runs…”

      Jahn made her way across the ridge from the first to second checkpoints before two hours had elapsed in the race and descended down to checkpoint three with a total race time of 2:15:00, meaning she blasted out of Granite Basin down to Cope Park in roughly 35 minutes.

      “There was kind of a pack of us at the beginning,” Jahn said. “Going back and forth, leading until probably the waterfall. And then Alex (Burkhart) and I, we ran the rest of the race together, we kind of gapped at the waterfall and then kept the lead. But Chloe (Papier) made up a lot of time… we saw her on the ridge right behind us. There were definitely some gals not too far behind.”

      Jahn said her training advice for the Juneau Ridge Race is “play outside in the mountains as much as you can and have fun doing it, yeah.”

      Tracen Knopp, 23, from Wasilla, was second overall for men in 2:11:34; William Mcgovern, 24, from Stove, Vermont, third in 2:25:41; Galen Johnston, 32, of Anchorage, fourth in 2:31:37 and Juneau’s Finn Morley, 19, rounded out the top five in 2:31:48.

      Morley noted that he received some good sportsmanship from Johnston just before reaching the flume on the return portion.

      “I was coming down to the flume…,” Morley said. “And my calf cramped super bad… so I stopped… and then Galen comes up behind me, stops, and says, ‘Here, take these tablets… salt tablets/’ It was awesome. I wouldn’t have finished if he wasn’t there. We ran the whole ridge together and everything. It was awesome.”

    Juneau’s David Francis, 28, placed sixth in 2:46:00; Jahn placed seventh overall; Alex Burkhart was eighth overall in 2:51:22; Anchorage’s Zac Campbell, 37, ninth in 2:52:15 and Juneau’s Eran Hood, 54, hit 2:57:51 to round out the top 10 overall placers.

      The top five females were Jahn; Juneau’s Chloe Papier, 27, in 3:01:06 for 11th overall; Juneau’s Amie Spieth, 32, in 3:02:54 for 13th overall; Juneau’s Rachel Phelps, 37, in 3:06:16 for 15th overall; and Anchorage’s Cheyenne Oyen, 33, in 3:29:01 for 26th overall.

    Above - Abby Jahn and Alex Burkhart race along the Juneau Ridge during Sunday's Juneau Ridge Race. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)



    (overall finish, name, town, age, sex, group place, race time)

    1. Zack Bursell (JNU) 29, M, 1, 2:11:15.

    2. Tracen Knopp (Wasilla, AK) 23, M, 2, 2:11:34.

    3. William Mcgovern (Stowe, VT) 24, M, 3, 2:25:41.

    4. Galen Johnston (Anchorage, AK) 32, M, 4, 2:31:37.

    5. Finn Morley (JNU) 19, M, 5, 2:31:48.

    6. David Francis (JNU) 28, M, 6, 2:46:00.

    7. Abby Jahn (JNU) 29, F, 1, 2:50:40.

    8. Alex Burkhart (JNU) 29, M, 7, 2:51:22.

    9. Zac Campbell (Anchorage, AK) 37, M, 8, 2:52:15.

    10. Eran Hood (JNU) 54, M, 9, 2:57:51.(JNU)

    11. Chloe Papier (JNU) 27, F, 2, 3:01:06.

    12. Charles Renick (JNU) 40, M, 10, 3:02:23.

    13. Amie Spieth (JNU) 32, F, 3, 3:02:54.

    14. James Adler (Clinton, NY) 23, M, 11, 3:04:53.

    15. Rachel Phelps (JNU) 37, F, 4, 3:06:16.

    16. Charlie Waters (JNU) 36, M, 12, 3:06:21.

    17. Brandon Ivanowicz (JNU) 40, M, 13, 3:09:25.

    18. Ari Gardner (Anchorage, AK) 37, M, 14, 3:09:28.

    19. Boykin Lucas (JNU) 35, M, 15, 3:09:55.

    20. John Nagel (JNU) 61, M, 16, 3:10:03.

    21. Alex Andews (JNU) 53, M, 17, 3:11:48.

    22. Steve Ricci (JNU) 41, M, 18, 3:16:36.

    23. Peter Hulson (JNU) 43, M, 19, 3:21:32.

    24. Kyle Hargrave (Carlsbad, CA) 37, M, 20, 3:26:53.

    25. Schuyler Metcalf (JNU) 31, M, 21, 3:27:00.

    26. Cheyenne Oyen (Anchorage, AK) 33, F, 5, 3:29:01.

    27. Quinn Tracy (JNU) 42, M, 22, 3:29:49.

    28. Peter Flynn (JNU) 39, M, 23, 3:30:00.

    29. Evelyn Fisher (JNU) 33, F, 6, 3:30:47.

    30. Owen Cadwalader (Bozeman, MT) 37, M, 24, 3:30:56.

    31. Conor Kincaid (Douglas, AK) 24, M, 25, 3:31:49.

    32. Greg Stocker (Palmer, AK) 35, M, 26, 3:33:03.

    33. Cindy Tuckwood (JNU) 52, F, 7, 3:33:32.

    34. Dave Pusich (JNU) 56, M, 27, 3:33:38.

    35. Brad Schall (JNU) 50, M, 28, 3:34:49.

    36. Geoff Davis (JNU) 32, M, 29, 3:35:21.

    37. Tasha Folsom (Sitka, AK) 38, F, 8, 3:36:53.

    38. Joe Viechnicki (Petersburg, AK) 49, M, 30, 3:40:10.

    39. Jordan Tanguay (JNU) 24, F, 9, 3:41:12.

    40. Callahan Dillon (JNU) 38, M, 31, 3:42:39.

    41. Chris Francis (JNU) 53, M, 32, 3:44:56.

    42. Steve Gilles (Indian, AK) 64, M, 33, 3:45:18.

    43. Kseniia Yarova (JNU) 26, F, 10, 3:45:28.

    44. Anna Mattox (JNU) 28, F, 11, 3:46:42.

    45. Corey White (Anchorage, AK) 39, M, 34, 3:46:52.

    46. Alida Bus (JNU) 36, F, 12, 3:50:32.

    47. Dylan Williams (JNU) 26, M, 35, 3:51:18.

    48. Sylvi Thorstenson (JNU) 29, F, 13, 3:53:04.

    49. Martha Santandreu (Hamburg, NY) 32, F, 14, 3:53:56.

    50. Daniel Rondeau (JNU) 68, M, 36, 3:55:11.

    51. Ron Duvall (JNU) 39, M, 37, 3:56:31.

    52. Alexandria Borseth (JNU) 26, F, 15, 3:59:25.

    53. Britt Tonnessen (JNU) 39, F, 16, 4:02:59.

    54. Jenn Shelton (JNU) 38, F, 17, 4:04:55.

    55. Meg Myers (JNU) 30, F, 18, 4:05:48.

    56. Sydney Reese (JNU) 28, F, 19, 4:06:31.

    57. Franz Fell (JNU) 31, M, 38, 4:07:26.

    58. Addison Field (JNU) 49, M, 39, 4:09:30.

    59. Dylan Krueger (JNU) 29, M, 40, 4:11:37.

    60. Bradelle Padon (JNU), 38, F, 20, 4:14:25.

    61. Emily Harvey (JNU) 38, F, 21, 4:14:26.

    62. Teal Goodwill (JNU) 33, F, 22, 4:14:38.

    63. Elizabeth Jurgeleit (JNU) 30, F, 23, 4:14:38.

    64. Joseph Sadler (JNU) 26, M, 41, 4:17:59.

    65. Jennifer Thomas (JNU) 40, F, 24, 4:19:10.

    66. Thomas Meyer (JNU) 65, M, 42, 4:19:15.

    67. Brittni Wisner (JNU) 28, F, 25, 4:22:35.

    68. Danielle Dunivin (JNU) 32, F, 26, 4:22:35.

    69. Paul Swanson (North Bend, WA) 42, M, 43, 4:27:05.

    70. Danielle Jones (Ketchikan, AK) 31, F, 27, 4:28:31.

    71. Justine Wagner (JNU) 27, F, 28, 4:30:23.

    72. Brendan Cross (Seattle, WA) 36, M, 44, 4:30:38.

    73. Ray Dwyer (JNU) 61, M, 45, 4:30:38.

    74. Cecile Elliot (JNU) 57, F, 29, 4:31:44.

    75. Carly Dipietro (JNU) 30, F, 30, 4:31:51.

    76. Katie Russell (JNU) 24, F, 31, 4:32:46.

    77. Sara Race (JNU) 37, F, 32, 4:33:29.

    78.William Race (JNU) 37, M, 46, 4:33:30.

    79.Carl Reese (JNU) 59, M, 47, 4:36:45.

    80. Naomi Staley (JNU) 30, F, 33, 4:42:55.

    81. Patrick Millard (Douglas, AK) 35, M, 48, 4:42:56.

    82. Christy Gentemann (JNU) 33, F, 34, 4:44:18.

    83. Max Rosen (JNU) 34, M, 49, 4:45:24.

    84. Jenevieve Clauss (JNU) 30, F, 35, 4:55:00.

    85. Becky Bohrer (JNU) 44, F, 36, 4:55:01.

    86. Ray Imel (Douglas) 62, M, 50, 5:12:05.

    87. Ryanne Bamieh (JNU, 25, f, 37, 5:21:03.

    88. Lo Keller (Traverse City, MI) 32, F, 38, 5:37:57.

    89. Lucia Cigan (Seattle, WA) 42, F, 39, 5:41:07.

    90. Zane Jones (JNU) 40, M, 51, 5:47:29.

    91. Cara Anderson (JNU) 20, F, 40, 6:06:19.

    92. Lexi Trainer (Eagle River, AK) 31, F, 41, 6:13:29.

    93. Sean Smack (JNU) 35, M, 52, 6:13:30.

    94. Mary Gomes Gavidia (JNU) 36, F, 42, 6:28:50.

    95. Sean Eagan (JNU) 54, M, 53, 6:28:50.

    DNF Jenna Habig (JNU) 32, F.

    DNF Colleen McGovern (Anchorage) 26, F.

    DNF Danielle Server (Wenatchee, WA) 34, F.

    DNF Christine Woll (JNU) 37, F.

    DNS Ethan Hill (JNU) 43, M.

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