On a morning when plenty of cyclists were passing me, I heard footsteps closing fast on the top third of the climb. When Max Bonenberger passed me, he was moving as fast as a strong cyclist. I closed as much ground as I could on the flat area just before the Buffalo Bill turnoff, but did not catch up to him before the turn. When I finally caught up and asked him his times, he told me that he runs up to the Nature Center in 39 minutes and passed the Buffalo Bill turnoff in 31:30. Fortunately on the descent, he was close to the parking lot and I engaged him again. Max is from Breckenridge and is enrolled at and runs for the Colorado School of Mines. (He is headed for a degree in chemical engineering and competes on the cross country team.) As I marveled at his uphill speed, he said that he was only the 10th or 11th fastest of his 21 or 22 teammates.
He blithely mentioned that when the team competes in the D2 national championships in Seattle on December 2d, they hope to win the national title.
Max finished the Leadville 50 mile run when he was 14 years old, has another couple years to compete for Mines and has a very bright future as a runner and a cyclist.