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Running the trails around Estes Park helped Kelsey Persyn win her first marathon

Kelsey Persyn won the Aspen Backcountry Marathon on Saturday, her first.   "It feels pretty cool. It's something I didn't expect, but I'm really happy that it happened. It kind of fueled my fire. I really want to get more into trail racing." Persyn, 22, was the top female finisher in Saturday's full marathon, which was essentially a 26-mile loop around — and up and over — Red Mountain, finishing at Rio Grande Park. She completed the race in 3 hours, 57 minutes, 55.71 seconds, which was good for 10th overall. This wasn't Persyn's first win in Aspen, as she also won the 2016 Aspen Valley Half Marathon, a road race, in 1:24:31. She ran track and cross country at Texas A&M before graduating this past May. She has been working as a park ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park this summer, and plans to make the move to Colorado more permanent. Running the trails around Estes Park helped her adjust to the altitude in Aspen. Saturday's race also happened to be her first full marathon. She hopes to race in the New York City Marathon in November. "I was kind of nervous in the beginning," Persyn said of Saturday's trail marathon. "Knowing you can overcome something like that is a really, really awesome feeling. It was just amazing. Trail running is great because time flies by, there is amazing scenery. It's just a really cool experience." (08/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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