Tina Ure paces her way to the finish line to win Saturday’s Britt Woods Firehouse Run in Jacksonville. - Jamie Lusch

Defending her crown

JACKSONVILLE — Britt Woods Firehouse Run director Doug Naversen was thinking about changing the handicap system of his 10-kilometer run to more heavily favor females.Males, after all, had won the first four events through the foothills and backwoods of Jacksonville since Naversen launched the intriguing trek in 2002.

But then along came Tina Ure of Mt. Shasta City, Calif.

Ure, a 47-year-old ultra-marathoner who finished 17th among females at the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run four weeks ago, used her seven-minute head start to hold off the young guns and win the Britt Woods Firehouse Run for the second straight year.

Drew Jordan, a sophomore-to-be at North Medford High, closed to within 10 seconds of Ure by the finish line but had to settle for second place.

Elliott Jantzer, a junior-to-be at Phoenix High, started nine minutes after Ure and two minutes after Jordan. At the finish, he was just 25 seconds from the winner.

"Thank goodness I'm old and female," laughed Ure, whose scratch time was 46 minutes and 19.83 seconds. "I need as much head start as I can get against those young, fresh legs.

"Seriously, though, this course has become one of my favorites. You can fly on the downhills and push up the hills, and most of the course is in the shade.

"Plus, the handicap system gives a lot of runners a fair chance to win."

Ure participates in 20 to 30 runs a year, many of them marathons, which measure 26.2 miles, and ultra-marathons, which range from 50K (31 miles) to 100 miles.

The Western States Endurance Run, which she covered in 25 hours, 10 minutes, was special because it ended on her Placer High School track in Auburn, Calif. The brutally difficult run begins with a 2,550-foot climb over the first 41/2 miles at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

"I was a little scared of that one because the course can get very hot and there's a 30-hour time limit," Ure said. "I was used to finishing the ultra runs in about 34 hours, but I was training about 95 miles a week to get ready for the Western States and it went well."

Never one to stay idle, Ure journeyed to Silverton, Colo., last week and accompanied a friend over the final half of the Hardrock 100 ultra-marathon.

"I spent the week at 13,000 feet (elevation)," Ure said. "Today, on this course, I felt like I had some extra oxygen. I improved my time by two minutes from last year."

Ure admitted she had no idea Jordan and Jantzer were quickly making up ground as she approached the finish line of the Britt Woods Firehouse Run.

"I play music when I'm running — I don't want to know if anyone is closing on me," she said.

Jordan's actual time was 39:29.98 and, considering the course's difficult terrain, he seemed happy with it. The course begins and ends just above the Britt Gardens.

"The only goals I have in this race are to finish and to see how many people I can stay in front of," Jordan, 15, said. "There are three huge hills and a bunch of switchbacks. You're not going to get a PR (personal record) on this course."

Jantzer, who won Class 4A state track titles in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs for Phoenix High last spring, registered the fastest gross time of the day, clocking 37:44.45.

Jantzer, 17, has kept in shape by training 40 miles per week in preparation for the high school cross country season this fall. He left today for the popular Steens Mountain Running Camp.

Ashland's Bob Julian finished fourth in 58:20.54 (scratch time, 38:20.54) and Phoenix's John Leuthold was fifth in 1:01.09.96 (scratch time, 41:09.96).

A handful of participants ran in last week's 50K Siskiyou Outback Run on Mount Ashland, including Talent's Todd Ragsdale, who managed to take seventh Saturday with his heavy legs.

"You don't have the quick turnover on the flats or the explosion on the hills," said Ragsdale, who won last year's Crater Lake Marathon and finished third at the Outback event. "You just grind it out. But it's still a fun event."

The female runner-up was Eagle Point's Laura Raber, who clocked a handicapped time of 1:04.52 and a gross time of 50:52.40. Raber was 10th overall.

Britt Woods Firehouse Run

(Listing name, age, hometown, handicapped time and actual time).

1. Tina Ure, 47, Mt. Shasta, 57:19/46:19; 2, Drew Jordan, 15, Medford, 57:29/38:29; 3, Elliott Jantzer, 17, Phoenix, 57:44/37:44 (fastest overall time); 4, Bob Julian, 39, Ashland, 58:20/38:20; 5, John Leuthold, 39, Phoenix, 1:01.09/41:09; 6, Joe Griffin, 47, Central Point, 1:01.10/43:10; 7, Todd Ragsdale, 38, Talent, 1:02.20/42:20; 8, Charles Hodge, 56, Eagle Point, 1:02.40/49:40; 9, Jack Leifer, 51, Weed, 1:02.59/46:59; 10, Laura Raber, 29, Eagle Point, 1:04.52/50:52.

11, Neil Seibert, 13, Medford, 1:05.06/49:06; 12, Kade Jensen, 15, Central Point, 1:06.37/55:37; 13, Melissa Glatte, 38, Central Point, 1:06.41/52:41; 14, Holly Beal, 16, Ash, 1:06.49/53:49; 15, Don Biggie, 49, Medford, 1:07.06/50:06; 16, Jachin Scott, 17, Rogue River, 1:07.31/47:31; 17, Matthew Marley, 14, Central Point, 1:07.47/50:47; 18, Jason Jantzer, 42, Phoenix, 1:07.49/48:49; 19, Lathan Brinkley, 64, Central Point, 1:07.53/1:01.53; 20, Marcus Davis, 18, Trail, 1:08.21/47:21.

21, Steve Buxton, 59, Medford, 1:08.25/57:25; 22, Craig Sewell, 34, McCloud, Calif., 1:08.47/47:47; 23, Dusty Miller, 60, Mt. Shasta, Calif., 1:09.02/59:02; 24, Richard Stanfield, 61, Phoenix, 1:09.35/1:00.35; 25, Anne Tracy, 47, Jacksonville, 1:11.00/1:01.00; 26, Heather Welch, 30, Medford, 1:11.55/57:55; 27, Kara Schnoes, Central Point, 1:12.01/58:01; 28, Matthew Eyman, 16, Jacksonville, 1:12.40/53:40; 29, Allen Drescher, 60, Ashland, 1:13.01/1:03.01; 30, Travis Jantzer, 13, Phoenix, 1:13.16/57:16.

31, Krista Peterson, 36, Medford, 1:13.18/59:18; 32, Mitch Poitevint, 36, Jacksonville, 1:13.19/52:19; 33, Teresa Burkkhart, 30, Central Point, 1:13.34/59:34; 34, Marcella Bernales, 23, Medford, 1:14.32/1:00.32; 35, Jake Scheid, 25, Medford, 1:14.37/55;37; 36, Aysha Staha, 29, Ashland, 1:14.41/1:00.41; 37, Ann Ebert, 39, Central Point, 1:15.28/1:01.28; 38, Jonathon Beskow, 15, Medford, 1:16.02/58:02; 39, John Wiley, 36, Medford, 1:16.17/55:17; 40, Piers Rasmussen, 13, Central Point, 1:16.44/1:00.44.

41, Meg Rawlings, 52, Medford, 1:17.07/1:08.07; 42, Brende Jensen, 39, Central Point, 1:17.49/1:03.49; 43, Renee Huizinger, 20, Central Point, 1:17.52/1:03.52; 44, Rory Curtis, 42, Medford, 1:17.59/58:59; 45, Cat Gould, 39, Phoenix, 1:18.46/1:04.46; 46, Heidi Baysinger, 38, Medford, 1:19.38/1:05.38; 47, John Travers, 44, Ashland, 1:19.58/1:00.58; 48, Don Stone, 48, Montague, Calif., 1:21.49/1:05.49; 49, Ron Lopez, 39, Grants Pass, 1:22.54/1:02.54; 50, David Rasmussen, 51, Central Point, 1:27.37/1:11.37.

51, Jennifer Romer, 34, East Greenbush, NY, 1:28.40/1:14.40; 52, Andrea Ure, 10, Mt. Shasta, 1:29.27/1:23.27; 53, Richard Williams, 41, Jacksonville, 1:29.52/1:09.52; 54, Sarah Adair, 27, Medford, 1:31.06/1:17.06; 55, Steven Haag, 40, Rogue River, 1:32.05/1:12.05; 56, Elizabeth Ascencio, 46, Grants Pass, 1:32.41/1:22.41; 57, Jody Haag, 39, Rogue River, 1:38.11/1:24.11.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail

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