50 Staters club scaled once, twice

by | Aug 8, 2006 | News Articles

Fit to be Tied Column
August 8, 2006
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi GaryFranchi

50 Staters club scaled once, twice

Following the call of endorphin nature, area endurance athletes continue to seek challenges and scale great heights in their own quiet ways.

The latest was accomplished by Cheryl Cook-McCoy of Salida, who became a member of the national “50 Staters” club last month for having run a marathon in every U.S. state. No. 50 wasn’t easy since it occurred in Iowa on a hot and humid July 15.

There, on a 90-degree day with a “sticky index” to match, Cook-McCoy, 61, finished the University of Okoboji Marathon in 6:55. The course’s trek around Lake Okoboji provided many scenic Midwest vistas, including ample amounts of cornfields, but it also had some feet-melting highway miles.

In the same race, Marv Bradley of Cañon City completed his second “50 Staters” tour, but for once showed he is human. The 67-year-old Bradley normally runs his marathons in around four hours, give or take about 10 minutes or so. But this time he aggravated a lingering plantar fasciitis condition by stepping on a rock midway through the race and struggled with the pain and oppressive weather conditions to cross the finish line in 5:50.


Many competitors from this area can resume running the half-marathon as part of the New Las Vegas Marathon since it is being reinstituted when the races are held Dec. 10. The event had dropped the “half” last year when it was re-mastered under new management with a course that started and finished on the famous “strip” and moved to December from its usual late January or early February date. In case you were thinking about getting married anytime soon, race officials are looking for couples willing to run the entire marathon and get married at the Run Through Chapel near mile five.


Few area runners took advantage of the fast Colorado Springs Classic 10K course last month, but two from Florence placed in their age divisions. Ashlee Withrow, 19, won the 15-19 bracket with a time of 43:32 while Rich Hadley was second in the 50-54 category in the time of 38:53.

Young Pueblo West runners Michael Schmidt and Matt Drake placed fifth and seventh overall, respectively, in the Rocky Mountain State Games (RMSG) 5K held last Sunday at North Monument Valley Park in Colorado Springs. Schmidt had an 18:01 time to place second in the 13-16 division while Drake won the 17-19 bracket with an 18:14. Melanie Hughes of Pueblo was second in the women’s 30-34 category with a time of 30:59.


Pueblo’s Michael Orendorff took first in the 55-59 age division in both the RMSG and Boulder Peak triathlons. In the RMSG held last Saturday at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Orendorff was seventh overall in the entire field by blitzing to a time of 1:08:06 over distances that included a 750-meter open-water swim, 13-mile bike and 5K run. Prior to that, he had a 2:23 clocking over the Boulder Peak’s 1.5K swim, 42K bike and 10K run course. This weekend, Mike will be doing a Half-Ironman to conclude the three-race Boulder series that started with a sprint triathlon.

It’s just in the exploratory stage at this time, but the Pueblo YMCA is checking the feasibility of conducting the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon at Lake Pueblo in 2007. A summer date — July or August — would be used to allow for a warmer lake temperature. The sprint race distances would probably be retained. Having it at Pueblo County High School again is still an option.


Several area swimmers, most of them youths, were multiple place-finishers (first, second or third) in their age divisions in the RMSG swim event held at the Olympic Training Center. They include Colorado City’s Kristy Davenport (9-10 division), Samantha Davenport (17-18), Patrick Scalley (13-14) and Dylan Fabrizius (15-16); Rye’s Stephen Hruby (17-18); Pueblo’s Justin Hawkins (11-12); and La Junta’s Megan Fowler (17-18). A multiple placer in the master’s category was Tom Gribben of Pueblo (50-59).

Avondale’s Cecil Townsend and I successfully completed the Prospect Lake Open-Water 5K held July 8 in Colorado Springs in 1 hour, 30 minutes and 1:40, respectively.

Pueblo dentist Dr. Dennis Gimlin, a member of the Pueblo Masters Swim Club, expects to get the Colorado Masers Swim Association to sanction the Pueblo Open swim meet next year, which would allow masters swimmers from throughout the state to compete in the meet.


The inaugural Ride for Kids, a bicycling benefit for the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center, will take place at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 10. The ride will start in the Regency shopping center on the south side and go to Beulah and back, a distance of approximately 40 miles. A spaghetti lunch will follow in City Park. The entry fee is $25 ($20 for SCR members) for those who register by Sept. 5. It’s $30 for everyone after that. For information, call 583-6332.

Upcoming Pueblo-area races

• Aug. 26 – Tunnel Drive (Prediction Series race), 5M, 7:30 a.m., Cañon City, (719-784-6514).
• Aug. 26 – Watermelon Run, 10K, 7 a.m., Rocky Ford armory (719-254-7723).
• Sept. 10 – Lake Pueblo Trail Run, 12K, 7:30 a.m., south of Lake Pueblo (543-2052).
• Sept. 16 – Autumn Color Run, 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, 9 am, Buena Vista (719-395-2649).
• Sept. 24 – Hot to Trot, 5K run & 2M fun walk, 7:45 a.m. walk, 8 a.m. run, 217 S. Union Ave, 251-3189.

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at garyf@bresnan.net.