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On a challenging day in the mountains, Scott Patterson wins a record 6th Crow Pass title

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: July 20
  • Published July 20

Scott Patterson had to persuade himself that he was chasing the course record Saturday at the 35th annual Crow Pass Crossing, even though he knew that because of trail conditions, it wasn’t going to be a record day.

Except it was.

Patterson, 27, set the race record for the most victories by a man, grabbing his sixth title to claim sole possession of a record he had shared with five-time winner Michael Graham.

He finished the 22.5-mile wilderness run with wet hair, muddy legs and a time of 3 hours, 3 minutes, 39 seconds. It was his slowest time since his first victory in 2012, but it put him nine minutes ahead of runner-up Tracen Knopp.

“The course is in rough shape from the river on,” Patterson said. “It didn’t ever feel like I was finding a good rhythm.”

It was Crow Pass on steroids, largely the result of Alaska’s hot, sunny summer. Overgrown brush. Eroded trail. Overflowing creeks. Deep, fast-moving water at Eagle River.

“Not the best trail,” said Knopp, whose time of 3:12:40 put him 41 seconds ahead of third-place Adam Loomis (3:13:21). “It’s never that good, but all the heat made the plants grow and the trail was (flooded). I think everyone took some spills.”

Patterson did, and more than once. Creeks that usually have bridges didn’t, he said, because the creeks have moved. His biggest fall came when he stepped on a log while crossing a stream and did a faceplant.

Just another day on the Crow Pass Trail, said 23-year-old Lyon Kopsack, who has Crow Pass in his blood. His dad, Lance, won the race in 1998, and at age 16 he successfully petitioned race officials to gain entry in an event that generally only accepts runners 18 and older.

“This race is always challenging,” he said. “It’s important to suffer in life.”

That said, conditions were particularly challenging this year.

“I was out here the day after Mount Marathon and I knew it was going to be slower,” Kopsack said. “… The brush is high, the water is high, and it pushed the trail up higher.”

Getting his first taste of the Crow Pass Trail was 18-year-old Daniel Bausch, a recent graduate of Chugiak High who finished ninth.

Basuch will be a freshman on the track and cross-country teams at Division I Utah Valley University, which makes him a distance runner, but not an ultra-distance runner.

“I’m a miler,” he said, and until Saturday his longest race was 10 kilometers and his longest training run was 16 miles.

Bausch said he got lost four or five times, but his biggest issue came about 7 miles into the race while he was going through thick brush. The brush camouflaged a boulder, and Bausch ran right into it.

The impact knocked him off his feet, and he said he stayed on the ground for a couple of minutes, wondering if his race was over.

“I banged my knee really bad,” he said. “I had to take Ibuprofen and walk about a mile.

“… It hurt more than anything, but I finished ninth and I’m very happy about it.”

His knee was bruised and badly swollen at the finish line, but Bausch was in good spirits. He finished strong, passing five people in the final 3 miles.

By then Patterson had been finished for half an hour. A 2018 Olympic cross-country skier, Patterson used his leg strength to build an insurmountable lead on the climb up Crow Pass, which rises about 2,000 feet in the first 2 or 3 miles.

Patterson has won the race six times in the last eight years — he skipped the 2014 race, and the 2017 race was canceled — and owns four of the 10 fastest times in history, including the second fastest (2:56:13 in 2015).

Each time he comes to the race, he comes with the course record on his mind — 2:54:44, set in 2010 by Geoff Roes.

“I always come back thinking, ‘I’m going to get the record this year,’ but the trail changes,” Patterson said. “It kind of feels like the record (was set) on a different course, but I tried to convince myself I was chasing the record.”

Crow Pass Crossing

1) Scott Patterson, 3:03:39;2) Tracen Knopp, 3:12:40; 3) Adam Loomis, 3:13:21; 4) Chad Trammell, 3:15:29; 5) Lyon Kopsack, 3:16:09; 6) Erik Johnson, 3:20:00; 7) Kenneth Brewer, 3:23:21; 8) Ryan Beckett, 3:32:09; 9) Daniel Bausch, 3:33:13; 10) Brian Kirchner, 3:33:32; 11) Ben Marvin, 3:34:07; 12) Conor Deal, 3:37:18; 13) Kade Fitzgerald, 3:37:40; 14) Michael Earnhart, 3:39:54; 15) Harlow Robinson, 3:40:38; 16) Richard Lockwood, 3:41:41; 17) Christopher Kirk, 3:42:02; 18) Miles Knotek, 3:44:37; 19) Craig Taylor, 3:46:08; 20) Franklin Dekker, 3:47:27; 21) Jack Consenstein, 3:48:29; 22) Collin Atkinson, 3:50:57; 23) Ross Ring-Jarvi, 3:53:51; 24) Brett Winegar, 3:55:57; 25) Daniel Evans, 3:57:23; 26) Ben Muse, 4:01:20; 27) Joseph Nyholm, 4:03:00; 28) Troy Larson, 4:03:24; 29) Tony Slatonbarker, 4:03:44; 30) Steve Lee, 4:05:23; 31) Gorka Leal, 4:09:09; 32) Patrick Lewis, 4:09:13; 33) Gino Graziano, 4:09:15; 34) Jim McDonough, 4:09:50; 35) John Weddleton, 4:12:17; 36) Ben Sturgulewski, 4:13:58; 37) Luke Rosier, 4:13:59; 38) Josh Allely, 4:14:12; 39) Lance Kopsack, 4:14:41; 40) Seth Berntsen, 4:15:25; 41) Tim Johnson, 4:17:33; 42) Aaron Martin, 4:23:06; 43) Steven Andersen, 4:23:44; 44) Jack Ginter, 4:24:05; 45) Miles Dennis, 4:24:06; 46) William Taylor, 4:24:36; 47) Andrew Baalerud, 4:26:24; 48) Eben Sargent, 4:26:34; 49) Roan Hall, 4:27:14; 50) Garrett Evridge, 4:28:45; 51) Eric Vilce, 4:29:03; 52) Michael Herrera, 4:32:21; 53) David Rhodes, 4:35:37; 54) Eric Mortensen-Nemore, 4:35:50; 55) Nathan Smith, 4:37:03; 56) James Fess, 4:37:25; 57) Dan Virgin, 4:37:55; 58) Thomas Nenahlo, 4:38:21; 59) Scott Voorhees, 4:40:12; 60) Justin Zagorski, 4:40:25; 61) Noble Dj Gurney, 4:42:31; 62) Andy Varner, 4:42:37; 63) Kevin Knotek, 4:42:52; 64) Nathanael Ray, 4:43:36; 65) Patrick Stinson, 4:43:43; 66) Brian Boyle, 4:45:40; 67) Dan Brokaw, 4:48:07; 68) Joe Kiefer, 4:48:29; 69) Jacob Case, 4:49:21; 70) Marek Kolendo, 4:50:36; 71) Greg Stocker, 4:53:23; 72) Jacob Bera, 4:54:02; 73) Chester Gilmore, 4:56:24; 74) Jacob Lamphier, 4:57:04; 75) Keith Blanchette, 4:59:10; 76) Ryan Fisher, 4:59:21; 77) Blake Elder, 5:05:00; 78) Barry Benko, 5:05:43; 79) Braun Kopsack, 5:06:08; 80) Andrew Clarke, 5:06:38; 81) Brian Mason, 5:08:47; 82) Alec Kay, 5:10:45; 83) Clayton Beethe, 5:11:03; 84) Mario Galindo, 5:11:45; 85) John Clark, 5:12:56; 86) Scott Ahrens, 5:13:03; 87) Justin Jay, 5:15:42; 88) Andrew Noble, 5:25:17; 89) Marcus Reese, 5:26:05; 90) Randy Peterson, 5:26:55; 91) Dean Denter, 5:32:17; 92) Christopher Walker, 5:38:30; 93) Lucas Blackburn, 5:38:46; 94) Matthew Coburn, 5:39:18; 95) Michael Madsen, 5:40:07; 96) Justin Smole, 5:41:53; 97) Matthew Kampen, 5:41:55; 98) Ed Leonetti, 5:44:36; 99) Dane Crowley, 5:46:31; 100) Aaron Foye, 5:48:16; 101) David Retherford, 5:52:42; 102) Rhyss Vivian, 5:56:37; 103) Nathan Zeigler, DNF; 104) Tom Honer, DNF; 105) Zachary Goldman, DNF; 106) Kyle Kelley, DNF; 107) Aaron Mathys, DNF; 108) Jake Sickich, DNF;109) Evan R Steinhauser, DNF.

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