Sean Lehmann looked surprisingly fresh when he crested the top of the C Hill Climb on Saturday morning. It certainly hadn't taken long, considering he ran the trail from the base, next to the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, to the top in a time of 14 minutes and 35 seconds.
That was the fastest time of the day for the one-mile-plus distance -- and more significantly, a climb of more than 900 vertical feet -- but there really wasn't anything surprising about Lehmann's effort. It really was no big deal for the Carson City podiatrist, who hit the top of the hill wearing his headset and a wide grin.
He looked fresh enough to have kept on going all the way up Kings Canyon to the top of Spooner Summit, a possibility not so far fetched because Lehmann is entered in the Silver State Marathon this Sunday in Washoe Valley.
"My favorite runs are 6- and 7-mile trail runs," Lehmann said. "There are lots of them around here. I just love to run up Kings Canyon, Ash and Vicee canyons, and I've done Snow Valley Peak and Hobart. Any one of those are pretty nice."
Lehmann enjoyed the view from the top of C Hill on Saturday.
"It was a lot of fun. I hope they keep doing it," he said. "I live near Kings Canyon, so I run to the C from my house a lot, but I've never done that particular route. I want to go back and time myself again and see if I can do better."
Lehmann is no stranger to running fast times. He ran 4:32 for 1,600 meters and qualified for the Utah state track meet finals when he was at Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City in the late 1980s, and later ran a highly respectable time of 15:34 for 5,000 meters at the University of Utah.
"I didn't really do anything special at Utah. I was on the traveling team and we did finish third in WAC one year," he said.
Lehmann has continued his enthusiasm for running and last September he entered the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run, a grueling test that features a cumulative elevation gain of approximately 26,882 feet and a loss of approximately 26,131 feet through the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. It was a memorable run, even though he was forced to drop out after 73 miles.
"The weather was pretty bad," Lehmann said. "It was cold and rainy and I just got to the point where I couldn't go anymore. I could go up, but I couldn't make the down work anymore.
"I might go back and try it (Wasatch) again. In the back of my mind, I'm also thinking about Western States," he added, referring to the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. "One guy told me that after Wasatch, Western States would be a walk in the park. I'm not sure about that. Make no mistake, neither one is easy."
Training to run ultra-distance events is highly challenging and highly time-consuming. But it truly is a special challenge.
"It's a physical accomplishment to do one of those," Lehmann said. "To set a goal like that and accomplish it is really fulfilling."
Lehmann is looking forward to trying the 26.2-mile challenge of the Silver State Marathon around Washoe Lake on Sunday.
"I've done lots of other marathons, but I've always wanted to do the local one," he said. "I've done my training, now I want to go out and have some fun."
Remember, this is a podiatrist talking about running 26 to 100 miles for fun and fulfillment.
"There are a couple of docs around town who have told me I'm crazy, especially since I work on feet," Lehmann said, chuckling. "You know, it comes down to if your feet and knees can take it.
"It's good for you; keeps your head clear and keeps you fit. I wouldn't give it up for anything."
Running notes ... Other times from the inaugural C Hill Climb included Laurel Weil of Sebastapol, Calif., who was the fastest woman in a time of 31:57. Travis Slagel logged a 16:48 for the second fastest time overall, ahead of Bob Griswold (17:02), Jeremy Evans (17:08), Swede Stolt (18:01), Tony Zimmerman (18:30), Dennis Wischmer (19:55), Drew List (20:30), Leon Mendibles (20:33) and Dan Mooney (38:08). Izzy Luna was second among the women timed up the hill in 33:30. More than 90 hikers and runners participated in the C Hill Foundation fund-raiser. ... The sixth annual Cross Country Cup will be held Saturday, a 10K run and 5K run/walk starting at 8 a.m. at Western Nevada Community College. Anyone interested in prerunning the courses is invited to join the Sierra Flyers youth running club at 7 p.m. tonight. ... The first Record-Courier 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer Run and Walk is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, at Stodick Park in Gardnerville. For information, call (775) 825-1727, or register on line at www.cvconcerts.com or www.recordcourier.com.