Hot to Trot race does an about-face

by | Sep 12, 2006 | News Articles

Fit to be Tied Column
Sept 12, 2006
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi GaryFranchi

Hot to Trot race does an about-face

What a difference a year has made in Pueblo’s Hot to Trot road race.

Last year, Ruth McDonald and the Southern Colorado Runners were trying to resurrect the race after it hadn’t even been held in 2004 following several years of low participant numbers. This year, Ruth, the event’s race director, is even getting calls from out-of-state runners wanting details about the Sept. 24 event.

So what happened from one year to the next?

Well, as in anything else in life, a quality production led to a lot of positive word of mouth. The race seemingly may become as hot as the chile peppers that will be cooking during the three-day Chile & Frijoles Festival that will be taking place in the Union Avenue Historical District during the same weekend.

Close to 80 participants signed up for the 5-kilometer run or 2-mile fun walk last year. They were treated to a scenic new course, quality race T-shirts, awards, finishers’ medals, free breakast in the Gold Dust Saloon after the race and an enjoyable awards ceremony in the Gold Dust’s outdoor backyard patio.

They’ll get that and more this year.

The overall male and female 5K winners will receive a Chile & Frijoles Festival denim shirt. A Kiddie K race that will be six-tenths of a mile (with a ribbon and breakfast to each youth runner) has been added for those 11 years of age. Plus, there will be drawings for door prizes donated by Union Avenue merchants.

Information and/or entry forms for the Hot to Trot and below races can be found at, then clicking on “Calendar.”


Brian Vaniwarden, 27, of Cañon City led area finishers in the Pikes Peak Marathon with a remarkable time of 4:56:54, while Jessie Quintana, 62, of Pueblo won the 60-64 age division with her time of 8:45:55. Other area finishers were Frank Hughes, 54, of Cañon City in 6:09; Dave Diaz, 58, of Pueblo in 6:23; Humberto Paredes, 49, of Pueblo West in 6:37; Marcia Hughes, 54, of Cañon City in 6:51; Chris Roman, 38, of Pueblo in 7:27; and Gary Hermes, 42, of Pueblo West in 7:46. The top area finishers in the Ascent were Jeff Vaniwarden, 24, of Cañon City in 3:18; and Donall Smith, 37, of Pueblo in 3:24.


Three area runners placed in their age divisions of the Triple Crown series that included the Garden of the Gods 10-mile Run, the Summer Roundup 12K and either the Pikes Peak Ascent or the ascent portion of the Pikes Peak Marathon. Quintana won her age division while Diaz and Robert Palermo, 47, of Penrose finished third in their respective brackets. Former Puebloan Paul Koch, 38, who lives in Colorado Springs, placed third overall in the entire field.

Cathy Osbon, 37, of Pueblo led area runners in the American Discovery Trail Marathon on Labor Day with a time of 4 hours and 10 minutes. Other area finishers were Gary Hermes, 42, of Pueblo West in 4:17; Daniel Riggs, 43, of Canon City in 4:49; and Kindra Johnson, 24, of Pueblo West in 5:12.

Area runners can pick their venue of choice on Oct. 7 when two area races are scheduled – the DECA Dash in Pueblo West and the Autumn River Run Classic in Cañon City. The DECA race, a benefit for Project Mercy, a relief fund for children in Ethiopia, is a 5K that starts and finishes at Pueblo West High School. The River Run Classic gives the runners the option either the 5K or 10K distance.


Pueblo’s Michael Orendorff wrapped up his 55-59 age-group championship in the three-race triathlon series in Boulder by placing first in the Half-Ironman last month. His 4:49 time came via legs of 32:33 in the 1.2-mile swim, 2:35 in the 56-mile bike and 1:38 in the half-marathon. Mike also finished first in the other two series triathlons — a sprint in June and the Olympic-distance (with a slightly longer bike leg) Boulder Peak in July.


The trip to the FINA Masters World Championships at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., was a rousing success for Carrie Slover. The Beulah resident was a goalie for the women’s water polo team that captured third place. She also won a medal for finishing 10th in her age division in the 100-yard backstroke with her 1:25:19 time. Carrie finished just out of the medal race in the 50 and 200 backstrokes and the 400 freestyle. The experience of competing with 7,300 swimmers from 75 countries was so positive that she’s already looking forward to the 2008 world championships that will be held in Perth, Australia.


Cyclists looking for a big end-of-season adventure can try the inaugural Bike with Pike Century Ride on Sept. 23. The 100-miler will begin at John Martin Reservoir State Park and travel along the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, past Bent’s Fort and through small towns on the Eastern plains before finishing at Pike Plaza on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo where the Chile & Frijoles Festival will be taking place. Riders apprehensive about tackling 100 miles can enter as a relay team of up to 10 cyclists. The registration fee includes many amenities, including free entry into the Frijoles Festival. Frontier Pathways (719-583-8631) is the point of contact.

Upcoming Pueblo-area races

• 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 and Kiddie K, 7:30 a.m. Kiddie K, 7:45 a.m. walk, 8 a.m. run, 217 S. Union Ave, 251-3189.
• Oct. 7 – Autumn River Run Classic, 5K run/walk & 10K run, 8 a.m., Cañon City Riverwalk, 275-1578.
• Oct. 7 – DECA Dash, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Pueblo West High School, 547-9277.

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at