The Hyndman Peak “Sufferfest” Challenge lived up to its pre-race billing as “the world’s toughest 10k” during its inaugural staging Sunday, Aug. 3.
On a cool early-August morning in the scenic Pioneer Mountains near Ketchum, 17 climbers led by 26-year-old race organizer Miles Fink-Debray finished the arduous ascent.
The “Sufferfest” featured a 6.0-mile, 3,800 vertical-foot climb to the Hyndman saddle, along with a 6.6-mile, 5,000 vertical-foot climb to the 12,009-foot summit of Hyndman Peak.
Mostly running on the flatter sections, all the competitors went together through the first three miles of moderate-grade single track that increased in difficulty for another 2.4 miles up to the 10,804-foot saddle.
From the saddle, most of the climbers scrambled up rugged rock for the final 0.6-miles—a stretch that rose 1,200 vertical feet to the summit of Idaho’s ninth-highest mountain peak.
Starting from the 7,000-foot Hyndman trailhead, 12 of climbers finished the complete 6.6-mile ascent while five stopped at the saddle and thus completed the 6.0-mile course.
Fink-Debray, the seven-time Baldy Hill Climb champion, did the 6.6-mile course in 1.33:00 followed by Bill Nurge, 52, in 1.45:00 and Patrick Csizmazia, 45, in 1.54:15.
“Really scenic,” said Fink-Debray, doing the climb personally for the fourth time. “I thought we should have official records on some of our peaks, so I came up with the idea for a race a couple of years ago.”
The women’s winner was Jodi Fillmore, 47, in 2.16:30, good for fifth place overall.
The youngest finisher at the long distance was Annika Landis, 16, in 2.44:35, and the senior finisher was Tom Teitge, 67, in 2.58:32. Topping the saddle climbers were Steve McCracken, 57, in 1.43:00 and Lydia Jett, 33, in 2.07:00.
Ski Tek of Ketchum and Topo running shoes were the event sponsors. Bellevue’s E.J. Harpham provided ceramic plates as prizes, and there were running shoes as prizes, too.
The race was free of charge. Fink-Debray said, “Reactions were very positive. We’ll try to grow the race in the future.”
Here are the results, with name, age, and finishing times in hours, minutes and seconds:
6.6 miles, 5,000 vertical-foot gain: 1—Miles Fink-Debray, 26, 1.33:00. 2—Bill Nurge, 52, 1.45:00. 3—Pat Csizmazia, 45, 1.54:15. 4—Miles Teitge, 39, 1.58:40.
5—Jodi Fillmore, 47, 2.16:30 (1st place woman). 6—Cole Newcomb, 23, 2.17:04. 7—Natalia Nurge, 39, 2.20:00. 8—Annika Landis, 16, 2.44:35. 9—Rob Landis, 57, 2.44:37. 10—Tom Teitge, 67, 2.58:32. 11—Peter Deutsch, 31, 3.01:17. 12—Shayne Maratea, 29, 3.09:00.
6.0 miles, 3,800 vertical-foot gain: 1—Steve McCracken, 57, 1.43:00. 2—Lydia Jett, 33, 2.07:00. 3—Emmett Say, 16, 2.15:42. Also—Harrison Chandler, 16, 2.16:00 and Galena Hansen, 16, 2.16:24.