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Three friends hit the ground running at the Rock and Roll Marathon

Left: Ryan Meisner (left), Matthew Pearson (center), and Bryce Vrabel hang out together, run together, and win together! Right: Ryan Meisner ran this half-marathon in honor of a friend who had recently passed. His sign says it all.

By Amy Shanahan; photos courtesy of Sally Pearson and Ryan Meisner

Three friends from the Castle Pines area took first, second, and third places in their 12-14 age division in the Rock and Roll Marathon in Denver on September 22. Bryce Vrabel, Ryan Meisner and Matthew Pearson are all best friends who enjoy running together. The three boys ran in the Cross Country program at Rocky Heights Middle School and are part of a year-round running program called Zoom Track.

A total of 20 boys ran in their age group, but these boys showed their determination by claiming the top three spots. Vrabel and Meisner ran together for much of the race until the 11.5 mile mark, when Vrabel took off in the lead.

This was Vrabel’s second half-marathon and he finished in first place. “When I crossed the finish line, I was happy and thrilled to be finished, and that I beat my really fast friends Ryan and Matt!” He beat his last year’s time by 18 minutes, and gives much of the credit to his coaches.

This was the first time running a half-marathon for Meisner who finished second. “It felt awesome to finish at a great time. I could have run the full marathon if they would have allowed me! I guess I have to be 18 for that one.” Meisner had an extra special reason to run. The day of the marathon was the same day of the funeral of a long time family friend Chris Vega, who was also a runner and died of leukemia at the age of 18.

Pearson ran his second half marathon and came in third place, “I improved my time this year in the marathon by 4 minutes. All this proves is that hard work pays off!” The three boys are best friends and are truly proud of themselves and of each other. The boys celebrated their big win with their families at a fun bowling party.

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