On Sunday, July 7, a hardy group of runners and walkers met at Trinidad’s Masonic Cemetery for a unique athletic event ­— the Simpson’s Rest Challenge.

Organized by Run Trinidad, a local non-profit that has hosted area running events for the past two years, the race followed a two mile out-and-back course that took athletes from the Masonic Cemetery entrance to the top of Simpson’s Rest. After climbing roughly 300 feet to the summit of the iconic local landmark, participants were treated to spectacular views of Trinidad, Fishers Peak, and the surrounding area as they sprinted back to the finish line.

Some 27 runners and walkers showed up for the Simson’s Rest Hill Challenge to test their mettle and have a good time in the company of fellow outdoor running and walking enthusiasts — and many brought family and friends to witness the event.

“Sometimes it’s just fun to challenge yourself with a tough run you wouldn’t do on a regular basis,” says Run Trinidad organizational committee member Shannon Youngquist. “Even if you do this challenging run on a regular basis, it might be fun to test your ability against other runners’ abilities on the course. The Simpson’s Rest Hill Challenge included navigating a steep climb and a steep descent on a rough dirt and rock surface, forcing participants to focus and make constant ‘risk versus benefit’ decisions in the quest to cross the finish line in fine form.”

For the male competitors, it was a tight race - with the top two finishers crossing the line just one second apart. In first place was 12 year-old Eli Dvorak with a time of 14:53. Sixty-year-old Danny Nelson finished second with a time of 14:54.

Desiree DallaGuardia, the first place finisher for the women, found the Simpson’s Rest Challenge to be a uniquely rewarding event. “Running hills is never easy, but doing so is an opportunity for me to call on all the people and experiences in my life that give me a fierce strength to succeed to be the best me and to embrace my breath! Simpson’s Rest Hill Challenge did just that,” she said.

Youngquist and the Run Trinidad organization appreciate all those in the community who donated time and services in order to benefit local outdoor recreation efforts like the Simpson’s Rest Challenge, including Photographer Dave Frank of Frank Images, Little Stinker Septic Service, the Masonic Cemetery, the Trinidad Ambulance District, the Trinidad Chronicle-News, KBKZ, and First National Bank in Trinidad.

“Run Trinidad is an all-volunteer organization,” says Youngquist. “The success of the Simpson’s Run Hill Challenge was due to the hard work of volunteers Karen Bonney, Susanne van der Meer, Cindy Adams, Annie Chaloupka, Jean Crisler, Tim Crisler, Mary Anne Douglas, Ryan Gilmartin, Eric Nava, Jason Stodghill, Ruth Stodghill, and Ben Wiley. We welcome anyone who would like to volunteer with Run Trinidad to send their contact information to mtndomehome@gmail.com.” 

Run Trinidad is planning a second running event for 2019 in September. Check the Run Trinidad or Trinidad Outdoors facebook pages for upcoming information on the event.

2019 Simpson’s Rest Challenge Results


    1.   Desiree DallaGuardia 15:36

    2.   Shannon Youngquist 18:21

    3.   Melanie Nelson 18:30

    4.   Ruth Stodghill 18:35

    5.   Lauren Sciullo 19:49

    6.   Kelly Eckhoff 19:56

    7.   Jillian Baca 19:59

    8.   Kathleen Griego 20:57

    9.   Kerry Gabrielson 21:03

    10. Carien Hoogwater 21:25

    11. Susanne van der Meer 21:25

    12. Kaitlin Cress 21:45

    13. Jessica DeVolin 23:36

    14. Braylee Foster 26:16

    15. Nicole Foster 26:16


    1.   Eli Dvorak 14:53

    2.   Danny Nelson 14:54

    3.   Ben Wiley 17:17

    4.   Ted Sillox 17:25

    5.   Jed Dvorak 17:54

    6.   Floyd Herrera 18:09

    7.   Sjoerd Hoogwater 19:38

    8.   Bob Compton 28:52


    1.   Rosemarie Shier

    2.   Linda King

    3.   Santina Frank


    1.   Dave Shier

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