By Bill Foley
Cory Soulliard said he felt like he was running with a bullseye on his back. Emily Allison, meanwhile, was basically just being herself.
They both picked up overall titles at the 14-kilometer Wulfman Continental Divide Trail Race Saturday morning. Both are first-time Wulfman winners.
This year, the race was run from Homestake Pass to Pipestone Pass through the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. (Results)
Soulliard, a Pennsylvania native who lives in Hamilton, won the men’s overall title, while Allison, a 2006 Bozeman High School graduate, won the women’s crown.
Running the race for the second time, Soulliard, 37,finished the 8.7-mile race in 1 hour, 6 minutes, 3.98 seconds. He ran most of the race by himself.
Runners are started every 10 seconds, and the two runners slotted behind Soulliard were no shows. Jason Reed of Brisbane, California, started first, and Soulliard started second.
“He caught me at 5 (minutes) and passed me at 7,” Reed said.
After that, Soulliard just knew he couldn’t look back.
“It was a little unknown,” the champion said. “There were a couple of empty spots behind me. That leaves a bigger time gap. It was a little bit more of a mystery.”
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Don Foley, 46, of Butte was the closest to Soulliard, but was more than a minute behind. He placed second overall in 1:07:15. Toloco Jodoin, 37, of Helena finished third in 1:08:03.
Butte’s Jeff Braun and Ross Monasmith finished in the top 10 overall. Braun, 54, placed eighth at 1:12:35, while Monasmith, 30, took ninth at 1:13:02.
Allison, 30, didn’t feel like she did anything special to win the race, which she ran for the fifth time.
“This is about on par with how I normally do,” Allison said of her time of 1:09:59.
Allison had finished second in the race before, and she pointed out that course record-holder Nicole Murray of Whitehall wasn’t running at her usual world-class speed.
Murray, 48, finished 34th overall in 1:36:39. She said she was taking it easy Saturday because she is running the 11 Miles to Paradise race near Missoula on Sunday. That race was moved from its original date in May because of flooding.
“I found her unexpectedly in the middle,” Allison said of Murray.
Allison, who at first was worried Murray might be injured, was happy to take home the title.
“I don’t frequently win races, so this is a treat,” she said.
Butte’s Amber Wood-Jensen, 42, placed second at 1:12:06, while Bailey Roberts, 32, of Bozeman took third at 1:12:18.
Butte’s Michele Bazzanella, 44, took seventh at 1:21:10. Kelsie Larson, 27, of Butte finished 11th in 1:23:26, one spot ahead of Butte’s Kristin Norderud, 26, who finished in 1:24:33.
Wood-Jensen won Masters title. She also topped the female 40-49 age group. Hailey Tonneson, 15, of Butte won the female 14-19 age group in 1:35:57.
Foley won the men’s masters championship and the male 40-49 age group. Braun won the male 50-59 group.
The race was hosted by Butte’s Piss and Moan Runners. It is named after the late John Wulf, one of the founders of the local running club.
In all, the race drew 201 runners — 105 women and 96 men.
Next year, the race will go from Pipestone to Homestake.