When Greg Montgomery’s friend found his dog, Trixy, in the Utah desert outside of Moab, it had a broken right leg and was abandoned.
So Montgomery and his friend decided to take it in and moved the Australian kelpie to Boise where they nursed it back to health. Montgomery began running with Trixy and, before long, Montgomery was in good enough shape to win one of Boise’s signature races — the Race to Robie Creek.
“We got (the dog) fixed up and now she is a freak,” Montgomery told reporters after the race.
Montgomery, 28 and a native of Boise, completed the half-marathon Saturday with an official time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and 47.54 seconds.
The female winner, Megan Lacy, who won the race last year, crossed about 15 minutes later with a time of 1:30:24.7.
This year’s winners knew each other from training with the Idaho Distance Project, a non-profit running group based in Boise. Lacy said she trains regularly with the group, but Montgomery occasionally will go off on his own.
“No matter how much you train, Shaw Mountain Road is always hard,” Lacy said of the Robie course.
The race begins at Fort Boise, located on the edge of Downtown Boise, before making its way into the mountains, where a ruthless climb to Aldape Summit (2,072 feet of elevation gain) awaits the competitors. The course makes its way along Shaw Mountain Road, which was washed away earlier this month when a creek jumped its bank. But the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) was able to clear the road in time for the race, and the road has been reopened.
“Incredibly impressive,” Montgomery said, regarding the road conditions. “I was blown away by the conditions, especially on the descent. I had no idea what it would be like.”
Lacy, who hails from New Jersey, finished last year with a time of 1:33:44.23. She has only run the race twice, meaning she has won every time she has run it.
The 25-year-old lives in Boise, where she runs a start-up called Lumineye. Her product provides first responders and soldiers with the ability to identify potential threats on the other side of walls using radar.
“Basically, it’s through-the-wall sensing,” Lacy explained.
Last year, nobody expected her to win because she was new. But this year’s race came with higher expectations and Lacy ramped up her training in an effort to repeat. She said she is planning to run at the marathon trials in February for the 2020 Olympics.
“I internally wanted to win (last year), but nobody knew that,” Lacy said. “There was a lot more pressure this year.”
About 2,300 people signed up to compete, according to former race director and current race volunteer Billy Gans. Some of those competitors also ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday.
“I’ve had the opportunity to run with some people in town who are incredibly impressive,” Montgomery said. “They deserve a huge amount of respect.”