A fine field showed up on the cool morning of Veterans Day 2006 for the Atalanta 5 K. 65 runners and 21 walkers would finish. The course made a nod to the traditional City Park venue by starting on the loop east of the Pavilion and going behind that building and turning east by the fountain, then going south on Calla around the tennis courts and back to the fountain, before going east out of the park and down Reservoir Drive. Instead of getting on the River Trail the runners turned back west on the first road and climbed the concrete monster, but instead of heading straight to the finish, the runners turned right onto Carlile and then along the frontage road back to Goodnight, and continued east on Goodnight to the finish back at the Pavilion..
Sydney Mondragon, who completed her college career in Florida this spring, took all the drama out of the first place question in her first few steps. In the first minute and a half she built a twenty second lead over Ashlee Withrow who had started strongly herself. Paulette Arns found herself well ahead of all walkers and a few runners when she came by the fountain the first time.
Just before the 2 mile mark, Emily Borrego eased by Ashlee but Sydney was completely out of sight. Sydney is back in Pueblo teaching, and apparently training. Her 19:47 finish time was the fastest since Maddy Tormoen ran 19:15 in 2003 on a flatter course. Maddy has the fastest time in the era of the club website with her 18:06 in 2002.
Kathy Hruby of Rye had the fastest time in the four years shes competed in the Atalanta but it wasnt fast enough to hold off Marilyn Goodloe of Colorado Springs who was 5th overall and first Masters runner in 22:44. Kathy was 6th in 22:56. Emily was aiming for a 21:40; she had a 21:31 for second overall and first 30-39. Ashlee, a Florence High School graduate from Wetmore, won the 19 & under and third overall in 22:16. Samantha Davenport, a Rye High senior from Colorado City cut about half of Ashlees lead on Goodnight to finish 4th overall in 22:30, her fastest ever at Atalanta. 13 year old Becky Hankla had a stunning debut, finishing 7th in 23:02. Sisters Amber and Nicole Pirraglia took first and second in the 20-29 division with 27:47 and 30:08. That division was rounded out by fellow Pueblo County grad Rhiannon Lockett, one of four Heaton teachers who participated. Carol Kinzy won the 50-59 division with a fine 25:39. Jessie Quintana won the 60 & over in 29:40.
Paulette Arns of Pueblo West won the walk by nearly 4 minutes over Michelle Drury, 36:18 to 40:04. The 21 walkers was a record number, and the 65 runners the second highest. Seven year old Gabrielle Wall was the youngest finisher with her 39:27 in the run. Tracy Walsh-Chocolaad was farthest from home. Tracy lives in Montgomery, Alabama.