Flora sets record in Oregon (Running)

September 28, 2009

There’s a butte in Bend, Ore., with Lars Flora’s name all over it.

The Alaskan Olympian nordic skier set the course record Saturday in the 11th running up Bend’s landmark Pilot Butte, a punishing one-mile uphill race that covers nearly 500 feet of elevation gain.

The 31-year-old Flora, a two-time Olympian who splits time between Bend and Anchorage, won in 7 minutes and 10 seconds. He beat the previous mark by 10 seconds, but it came at a cost.

“Between the burning of the legs and the burning of the lungs, it’s painful,” Flora told the Bend Bulletin.

The race featured 131 participants, including Torin Koos, a teammate of Flora’s on the U.S. Ski Team, who Flora beat to the top of Pilot Butte by 10 seconds. The two Olympians are training partners who are preparing for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

“We do a lot of training up here for skiing … at some point we were like, “I wonder how close we can get to the record?’ ”

Now he knows.

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