March, 2004 Fit to be Tied Column
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi
Cyclist Flores Preps for Runoff’s 10-Miler
It’s typical for only hard-core runners to attempt the 10-mile division of the Spring Runoff. But then, Carla Flores isn’t a typical runner.
Truth be told, she hardly considers herself a runner at all. It’s just something she does in the “off season” to stay in shape.
Her real passion is bike racing, and it’s something that fills most of her weekends during the warmer months. To her, long-distance road racing doesn’t refer to running; instead, it is one of the modes of bike racing she does throughout Colorado, with criteriums, time trials, etc., being the others.
Still, there she was last Saturday, joining a group of women who meet regularly each weekend for their long run of the week. Being part of the 18-mile training run, while no stroll in the park, really wasn’t that tough of a chore to her.
“I really felt like I could have gone a few more (miles),” she noted.
Hence, Flores will be among the hard core tackling the 10-mile distance in Sunday’s Pueblo Chieftain-sponsored Spring Runoff. It might be her only running race this year.
Other Runoff race distances are the 5K, 10K and 1-mile youth fun run. It also includes a 2-mile walk and a 50-yard toddlers race for kids 6 and under.
The starting gun is scheduled to be fired at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Dutch Clark Stadium. The finish line for all of the races will be on the stadium track.
That Flores would choose the 10-mile race is probably no surprise to those who know her. She is an athletic trainer for Pueblo East High School and teaches a bike “spinning” class two or three nights a week at the Pueblo Athletic Club. You can toss in about 30-35 miles of running per week during the colder months.
Oh, and then there is the biking. The 45-year-old Pueblo native is an Elite Amatuer Category 2 cyclist who rides virtually every day during the warmer months, only taking a day off after a particularly difficult race.
Compared to her biking regimen, “running to me is effortless,” she said.
Once a body builder, Carla started riding to cut weight for competitions. She discovered that biking “was way too much fun.” She started racing in 1987 and caught a bug that has been latched on every since.
Like most serious competitors in any sport, she’s got her upcoming summer of racing pretty much plotted out already. She’s hoping it begins at the end of April in the Tour of the Gila in Silver City, NM.
First, though, she’s got to figure out how to finish her semester’s work at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where she is studying to become a nurse. (She already has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the university in 1995.)
Thus, soon after Sunday’s Runoff, she should be jumping back on the bike quite regularly, putting in long distances and blending in hillwork and speedwork.
No, Flores is not the typical runner. But she’s not your typical cyclist either.
Cañon City native Hallie Janssen, now living in Portland, OR, qualified for the U.S. women’s Olympic marathon trials by running a 2:46:48 in the Motorola Austin Marathon held Feb. 15 in Texas. It was the 28-year-old Janssen’s fastest marathon to date and it eclipsed the 2:48 qualifying time. It also placed her ninth among all women entered and 52nd in the entire Motorola field.The trials will be held in St. Louis next month.
- A recent addition to this spring’s racing calendar is the Healthy Kids Day Family Walk/Run, a 5K race that the YMCA of Pueblo will conduct on April 3. This is a local remake of The World’s Largest Race that was conducted by YMCAs across the country three years ago. That one drew about 250 entries in Pueblo, and the Y is hoping for a repeat showing.
- Regular Triple Crown of Running participants realize the importance of registering for the the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon since those late August races have entry caps and fill early. How early? Well, consider that the marathon is already 47 percent full while the two waves of the Ascent are 64 percent and 72 percent full.
- Because of the St. Patrick’s Day bicycle ride on March 21, the 10-mile Trail Mix Prediction Series race has been moved to March 20. That will give cross-trainers the chance to do both events.
- Racing will return to Mineral Palace Park on March 28 when the second annual Survivors 5K Run/Walk will take place. Race proceeds benefit rape victims and their families in Pueblo County. To those who ran this last year, be aware that last year’s confusing course has been changed.
- Several area runners placed in their age divisions of the four-race Winter Series in the Colorado Springs area. Placing in the short series were Dale Papineau of Pueblo West, Jane Chess of Florence and Natalia Pond of Cañon City. Medal winners in the long series were Matt Sherman of Pueblo West, Rich Hadley of Florence, and Warren and Julie Marshall of Cañon City.
Upcoming Area Races
- Sunday – Spring Runoff, 2M, 5K, 10K and 10M, 9 a.m., Dutch Clark Stadium (547-2777).
- March 20 – Ben & Matt’s Trail Mix (Prediction Series race), 10+M, 9 a.m., Nature Center (543-5151).
- March 28 – Survivor’s Run, 5K run/walk, 9 a.m., Mineral Palace Park (583-4420).
- April 3 – YMCA Healthy Kids Day Family Walk/Run, 5K, 8:30 a.m., Pueblo YMCA (543-5151.
- April 10 – Ramsgate 8, 8K, 8:00 a.m., 8 Ramsgate in Belmont (544-9633).
- April 18 – Y-Bi Classic Duathlon, 2.5M run, 11.2M bike, 3M run, 9 a.m., Pueblo West (543-5151).
- April 25 – Yappy Dog Run (Prediction Series race), 8M, 8:30 a.m., South Mesa Elementary School (543-69482).
On the Net
- Southern Colorado Runners: www.socorunners.org
- Spring Runoff: www.chieftain.com/springrunoff
- SECAHEC: www.secahec.org
- Winter Series: www.pprrun.org
- Triple Crown of Running: www.pikespeakmarathon.org
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