Get ready for another great stadium finish
If you loved the stadium finish for the Spring Runoff last month, you’ll get to enjoy the experience once again Saturday when the Spank Blasing 5K/10K Run/Walk is held at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl on the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus. Registration is ongoing this week and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on race day prior to the 10 o’clock start.
This race has it all – two running distances to choose from, great courses that take in parts of Belmont in addition to the university area, a huge field that surpassed 450 participants last year, and tons of amenities. They include a race T-shirt, goodie bag, refreshments, a free breakfast, chip timing, and even live tunes by Martini Shot at the finish during and after the race. And, yes, there is the stadium finish that includes a lap on the nice, feet-friendly track.
Also like the Runoff, virtually all ages can participate, including kids between the ages of 3 and 14. Their Run with the Wolves is free and will be short and within the ThunderBowl. A trophy will be given to the school with the most students entered. Each racer will receive a participation ribbon. There also will be a 1-mile youth run and a toddler race for those 6 and under.
Race officials use the Blasing to promote good health and physical fitness, but it also has had some outstanding competitors in the past. They include Adams Rich of Colorado Springs winning the 5K before Levi Medina of Pueblo won it the past two years. And in last year’s 10K, Aaron Levinson held off fellow Puebloan Charlie Gray to win by just four seconds.
The race pays a fitting tribute to the late James “Spank” Blasing, who coached track, cross country and was an assistant football coach and an athletic director during a career that spanned from 1956 to 1984 at Pueblo Junior College, Southern Colorado State College and University of Southern Colorado. He is most remembered for having national-quality cross country runners and teams.
As an aside, the race raises money for CSU-Pueblo student athlete scholarships, all-important in these days of shrinking higher education funding. Registration is $25 this week and $30 Saturday before the start, a bargain considering all of the amenities.
After the successful Arkansas Point Mountain Bike Race at Lake Pueblo State Park last weekend, mountain bike racing returns to Pueblo this Saturday for the Voodoo Fire Mountain Bike Race on the South Shore trails. This is the first time that Pueblo has hosted a Rocky Mountain Endurance Series race. The race course is a rolling, single-track loop that circles Lake Pueblo bluffs. RME competitors will complete two loops, while Junior RME and half-marathon competitors will do one loop. The finish area will be at the South Shore Marina. Participant parking will be at the Rock Creek swim beach lot just north of Cottonwood Pavilion across the bridge. The RME marathon race will start at 8 a.m. The half-marathon and Junior RME race will start at 9 o’clock. There will be a post-race fiesta including lunch at 3 p.m. followed by an awards presentation, cash and merchandise prizes to fastest finishers and a raffle. Go to the Warriors Cycling web site for more information.
Legendary Tour de France TV announcers Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett have been contracted to broadcast Colorado’s new USA Pro Cycling Challenge, scheduled, for Aug. 22-27, on the Versus station and for the final stage Aug. 28 on NBC. The two networks will provide 25 hours of coverage of the Challenge.
There’s still plenty of time to register for the 33rd annual Bolder Boulder 10K that will take place on Memorial Day, May 30. This is the second biggest road race in the U.S. and it has 91 different wave starts beginning at 7 a.m. It will be interesting to see if the new starting line, about a mile and a half south of the previous location, slows times because of a slight uphill for the first mile. A nice feature of the race is that the basic T-shirt package and the technical shirt package have shirts in men’s or women’s cuts. And children 14 or under and seniors 65 or older get a $15 discount.
General registration for the Pikes Peak Marathon filled early but is still open for those doing the Triple Crown. The Ascent general registration remains open as does wave two of those doing the Triple Crown.
Four local runners were among the finishers in the 115th running of the Boston Marathon this past Monday. They were Karen Ortiz, 47, Pueblo in 3:52:02; Greg Berryman, 55, of Pueblo West in 3:55:01; Laurel Wright, 57, of Pueblo West in 4:16:02; and James Wright, 69, of Pueblo West in 4:57:59. Because of a 33 percent increase in Boston qualifiers from 2007 to 2009 and an eight-hour sellout of this year’s race last October 18, new Boston registration procedures will go into effect in September for 2012 signups and faster qualifying times for 2013. For 2012, rolling registration will be used over a two-week period, with faster runners given priority per age division. The next year, the “Q” standards will be five minutes faster for every age group.
In the challenging, hilly Run Through Time Marathon in Salida last month, locals Taryn Haas, 35, of Pueblo finished in 4:52:02 while Pueblo West’s Don Hawkins, 43, ran 5:14:48 and Cheri Bashor, 56, 6:04:21. The course is definitely not for the novice runner.
Hal Walter, long-time runner, burro racer and author who lives in Westcliffe, will discuss his new book titled “Wild Burro Tales: Thirty Years of Haulin’ Ass” at 7 p.m. Monday at the Pueblo West Library. Those who have been around the area for a while remember Hal as being the overall winner of the now-defunct Pueblo River Trail Marathon one year with a 2:37 time. He also wrote a book at the Pikes Peak Marathon a few years ago.
• Saturday – Spank Blasing Run, 5K & 10K runs and 2M walk, 10 am, CSU-Pueblo, 549-2013
• Saturday – Voodoo Fire Marathon mountain bike races, 9 a.m., Lake Pueblo, warriorscycling.com.
• May1 – Cinco de Mayo, 5K & 10K runs and 2M walk, 7:45 am, State Fairgrounds, 251-0436
• May 7 – John Neumann Panther Run, 5K run & 1.6M walk, 8 a.m., Pueblo City Park, 561-9419
• May 7 – Blossom Day, 5K & 5M, 8 am, Centennial Park in Canon City, joinFAR@gmail.com
• May15 – Yappy Dog Run (Prediction Series race), 8.6M, 8 am, South Mesa Elementary School, 543-6982
• May 22 – Run with the Bulls, 5K, 8:45 am, Union Avenue Historic District, 251-3189
• June 4 – Run for Rio, 5K, 8 a.m., Rye High School, 947-3682
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at email@example.com.