Atalanta Women’s 5K Helps Mark Women’s Strides in Health and Fitness

by | Nov 1, 2002 | News Articles

November, 2002 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Atalanta Women’s 5K Helps Mark Women’s Strides in Health and Fitness

Calling women and girls of all ages, sizes, shapes and ability levels! The Southern Colorado Runners invite you to the 23rd annual Atalanta Women’s 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Nov. 23.

You do not need to be a talented runner. You do not need to be a racewalker. You do not need to be competitive, although you certainly can be if that is your prerogative. All you need is reason to celebrate and appreciate the strides that women have gained over the years in the world of health and fitness.

Launched in 1979, the Atalanta race provides perspective to this cause. The race was not incorrectly spelled after a city in Georgia. Actually, Atalanta was the name of the mythological female figure of strength and courage. And the Atalanta’s intent from the start was to inspire women to accept a challenge and do their best.

This is a 3.1-mile race that is based at the Pueblo City Park Pavilion, and it has a 9 a.m. start. If weather permits, new race director Katherine Frank will add a new and challenging twist to the race by taking it down onto the River Trail System from City Park. Of course, that means it will have to come back up near the end, thus providing the fore-mentioned “challenging twist.”

Two long-standing traditions of the Atalanta will continue, with males conducting the race and Kathie Arwood providing hand-crafted mugs as age-group awards. In addition, University of Southern Colorado art professor Vicky Hansen is donating hand-crafted ceramic awards to the top overall runner and walker.

Entry forms are available in Pueblo at the Pueblo YMCA and the Gold Dust Saloon. Direct questions to Frank at 544-3434 or

Other races

Also on the racing calendar this month is The Dam Run, a 10K run and one-mile walk scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 10 at the John Martin Reservoir State Park in Hasty east of Las Animas. The scenery alone will make this race a real treat. The Pueblo YMCA has entry forms.

On Nov. 30, the Southern Colorado Runners will conduct the low-key, four-mile Temple Canyon Prediction Run in Cañon City. Your time doesn’t matter in Prediction Series races; closeness to predicted times does. This is a good chance to burn off the Thanksgiving turkey, too.

A race considered one of the most picturesque in Colorado is the Rim Rock Run that’s held at the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction. This is a 37K (22.6 miles) race that is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9. While limited to 400 runners, the race still had openings as of Friday. An added bonus for racers this year will be the appearance of Libbie Hickman as the keynote speaker at the pre-race dinner the night before the race. Hickman wan the 10K in the 2000 Olympics and is a three-time World Championships team member. I’m told the best way to enter is online ( For more information, call (970) 243-4055.

Tireless Gerald Puls, 76 years young, didn’t qualify for the Hawaii Ironman this year, but he did travel to Kona anyway and won his age division in the Safety Lane 10K Run there. Gerald hopes to gain an Ironman berth in Kona next year.

Marathon notes

In case you missed it, Paula Radcliffe set a new women’s marathon world record in the Chicago Marathon by clocking 2 hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds, bettering the previous mark of 2:18:47. Radcliffe, who is from Britain, ran the second half in 1:08:13.

Pueblo’s Marijane Martinez also ran a faster second half – a whopping six and a half minutes faster – at the St. George Marathon in Utah en route to finishing in 4:03:32 to qualify for next year’s Boston Marathon. Marijane, who turned 50 last summer, was 1:28 under the 4:05 qualifying time.

Spring Runoff Note

Believe or not, but planning for next March’s 25th annual Pueblo Chieftain-sponsored Spring Runoff is already under way. It appears that all four race distances (2M walk, 5K run, 10K run and 10M run) will be retained. Also, the Southeast Colorado Area Health Education Center (SECAHEC) will again conduct a health and fitness symposium the weekend of the Runoff. A performance track is being added this time.


Most would agree that the wide world of athletics includes some unique challenges. Puebloan George Balles usually likes to try an open-water swim in different locales each year. This year, Balles, a pharmacist for King Soopers, sported a wetsuit to swim in the fourth annual RCP Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim in California last month. George completed the nautical mile (that’s 1.1508 miles) held in San Francisco Bay in 59 minutes and 40 seconds. Even better, he lived to tell about it.

Upcoming Pueblo-area Races

• Nov. 10 – The Dam Run, 10K run/1M walk, 9 a.m., John Martin Reservoir State Park, Hasty (719-456-3110).
• Nov. 23 – Atalanta 5K, run/walk, 9 a.m., City Park (549-2236).
• Nov. 30 – Temple Canyon Prediction Run, 4M, Cañon City (784-6514).
• Dec. 8 – Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 13.1M, Pueblo City Park (564-9303).
• Dec. 15 – The Excellent Adventure (Prediction Race Series), 8M, 117 Regency, Pueblo (564-6043).

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