November, 2005 Fit to be Tied Column
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi
2005 Local Running Season Ending Upbeat
The Pueblo racing scene sure is going out with a bang in 2005.
Two tradition-rich races dot the local racing calendar the next two months, starting with this Saturdays 26th annual Atalanta Womens 5K, a female-only run or walk event that takes place inside Pueblos City Park. That will set the table for one of the biggest Pueblo races of the year the Rock Canyon Half-Marathon that will have its 19th annual run on Dec. 3.
The Atalanta is the second leg of the female-only series that began in July with the annual Womens Distance Festival. Together, they make Pueblo one of the few U.S. cities that offer two annual races that are strictly for females.
Racers earn an item of clothing (in this case a short-sleeved, womens cut hoodie shirt) that draws snickers from those unfamiliar with the correct spelling of the Greek mythological figure Atalanta. At the same time, participants have the built-in comfort zone of being able to compete in an event that includes all ability levels.
Hence, if you are not the swiftest of foot or are new to running or even walking, it doesnt matter. Support and encouragement will be part of the atmosphere, and it may be just the ticket you need to build on your running or walking program, regardless of your age since this one draws teenagers and senior citizens alike.
Meanwhile, the Rock Canyon Half-Marathon has had the numbers growth to match its increasing popularity, with 313 finishing last year and 293 in 2003. The scenic race starts in City Park but soon afterward drops down to the River Trail and heads out to the Pueblo Dam and back, with a slight loop by the turnaround.
The 13-1-mile distance gives runners one last long-distance shot before they get caught up in the holiday season, and the beautiful, mostly flat course provides the opportunity for a relatively fast race time. Plus, they can wear the events traditional high-quality sweatshirt throughout the winter.
The race production choreographed by Dave Diaz, who is directing the race for the 13th consecutive year, is always exquisite, contributing to the positive experience. An added lure this year is the fact that the newly revamped Las Vegas Marathon no longer includes the half distance, which in past had attracted quite a few local runners in late January or early February.
Both races will begin at 9 a.m. by the City Park Pavilion.
To pre-register for either race, entry forms are at the Pueblo YMCA and the Gold Dust Saloon and also are available on the Southern Colorado Runners website (www.socorunners.org/). Registration for both the Atalanta and Rock Canyon races is also available online on www.Active.com.
There also will be race-day registration for both races beginning at 7:30 a.m. inside the City Park Pavilion.
With all the marathons youve read about Marv Bradley running over the years, you might assume that the Cañon City runner shies away from short-distance races. Not so. Bradley is swift at any distance, which is a good reason why he leads the 60-and-over age division of the 2005 Colorado Runner Racing Series.
The series consists of 21 races of distances that vary from 5K to the marathon, and the 66-year-old Bradley has an 80-point lead over Larry Ingram of Grand Junction heading into the final race — this weekends Rim Rock Run, a scenic but difficult 37K jaunt (22.5 miles) whose course traverses Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction. If Ingram runs the race and wins his age division, he will receive 100 points and earn the age division crown since Bradley wont be running Rim Rock, having committed to another marathon. Rim Rock has a limit of 400 entries.
Sam McClure, 52, of Cañon City recently completed the only marathon he ever DNFd in by running the Columbus (Ohio) Marathon in 3:48:55 on Oct. 16.
Bradley finished three marathons in October Twin Cities in 4:35, Durango in 3:56 and Marine Corps in Washington, DC in 4:29 giving him 15 marathons and one ultramarathon for 2005. Hes in line to complete his second go-around of a marathon in all 50 states by next spring.
Cheryl Cook-McCoy of Salida ran Twin Cities in 5:46 and is on course to achieve her first 50 Stater designation next spring.
Upcoming Pueblo-Area Races
- Saturday, Nov. 12 Atalanta Womens 5K, female-only run/walk, Pueblo City, 9 a.m. (564-9303).
- Nov. 26 Temple Canyon Prediction Run, 4M, 9 a.m., Canon City (784-6514).
- Dec. 3 Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 9 a.m., Pueblo City (564-9303).
- Dec. 18 The Excellent Adventure Prediction Run, 8M, 9 a.m., 117 Regency (564-9599).
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return to Gary Franchi’s running and fitness writings index page.