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Millcreek Journal

Trail runners reach summit, raise 5K in the Primary Children’s Vertical Kilometer race

Jan 05, 2024 11:00AM ● By Jolene Croasmun

Trail runners pose for a photo at the summit of Grandeur Peak after finishing the first ever PCVK endurance race in November. (Photo courtesy of Jed)

This was the first year for the Primary Children’s Vertical Kilometer (PCVK) race. It took place in November on the west side of Grandeur Peak. This endurance race was an opportunity to raise money for pediatric health care and research at Primary Children’s Hospital. 

There are not many vertical kilometer races in the United States. This type of race is more common in Europe. The vertical kilometer race is an uphill mountain race where there is an elevation gain of 1,000 meters or 3,280 feet. 

The PCVK was created from the friendship of Sean McKelvie and Dr. Josh Bonkowsky and their love of trail running. 

 There were 15 runners and they raised over $5,000 with 100% of the donations going to Primary Children’s Hospital.

The runners started at 7 a.m. at the trailhead on the west side of Grandeur Peak and ended at the summit. 

The winner was Griffin Briley at 41 minutes and second place went to Patrick Wilson at 50 minutes and 19 seconds. 

The top female runner was Abbey Benesh finishing at 71 minutes and 51 seconds.

The race finished at 8:37 a.m. when the final runner reached the summit.

If interested, donations can still be made on the website by going to

Any trail runners or hikers that want to test their endurance and raise money for a good cause can look forward to the second annual PCVK race in November 2024.λ