A Resurgent Women’s Distance Festival in 2006

by | Jul 15, 2006 | News Articles

At the July 5 SCR meeting Race Director Diana Tiffany raised the question of whether the club should drop the Women’s Distance Festival in the future due to low turnout. At that point there were something like 15 pre-registered for the run and walk combined. I’m proud to say the club expressed continued support for the race, and the race was a huge success in every way, with almost as many finishers as the previous two years combined.

On a cloudy and cool morning for July, thirteen women started the walk portion of the 2006 version of the Women’s Distance Festival. By the time they approached my vantage point near the pool parking lot, Paulette Arns was out to a clear lead that would only get larger. Early on the out-and-back course most women walked in pairs, seeming to enjoy the day and each other.

The 35 runners started after the walkers and well before half of them passed me, I knew Diana’s fear of low turnout was demolished. After the last runner passed me, I strolled up to the water stop operated by Mary Rudolph and Diana’s young niece Jessica. I was hoping to get a glimpse of the first runner coming back. Instead I was surprised by Paulette turning the corner well before I got near Nuckolls. In fact I had to run in my flip flops to get back to my post before Paulette did.

On the second pass of the water stop the lead runners had begun to pass walkers. The first runner, Tina Gray, a previous WDF winner, had a substantial lead but she never caught Arns. Tina was first in 22:18 with newcomer Erica Reschly, running her first Pueblo race in a strong 23:08. Paulette won the walk in 36:58 and Kay Perkins was secomd.

The Pueblo area wood turners club donated all the prizes, in a real variety of woods and designs, but the key to the day was camaraderie and good will. And for only one of two dates on the Pueblo racing calendar, females had the spotlight to themselves.