Marathons are a Form of Training for this Ultra-Distance Runner

by | Oct 1, 2001 | News Articles

October, 2001 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi

Marathons are a Form of Training for this Ultra-Distance Runner

Dan Steward apparently doesn’t have much use for normal distance races.

A 5K must seem like a stroll through the park to him, a 10K a walk around the block. To the 40-year-old Pueblo runner, a marathon is merely a training run for some real distances.

Like the Leadville Trail 100. That’s 100 as in 100 miles, a distance Steward completed this summer in 28 hours and 16 minutes, fast enough to place him 89th among 166 runners (out of 392 starters) who completed the distance.

Still, that 28-hour time was slow for Dan. In the two previous times he ran Leadville his times were three and four hours faster. But this year he was hit with an illness just before the race.

“It was tough because I got bronchitis a week before the race and did no running for eight days before the race,” Steward explained. By then, though, he had already gotten in the necessary training for Leadville.

It included his usual routine of running between six and 15 miles a day for five or six days a week, despite working long hours in the production area of Davis Wire, a Pueblo firm. But he had stepped it up by running a marathon in both June and July, including a 3:18 Taos (NM) Marathon that was just off his marathon personal best of 3:14.

Since then, the Columbus, Ohio native, like Michael Jordan, hasn’t exactly lost his itch. He ran the Mount Rushmore International Marathon in Rapid City, S.D. this past weekend and would have run the River Trail Marathon this month in Pueblo had the race not been axed from the schedule.

“I hate to see a race like that get dropped,” said Steward, who was 13th overall among males in last year’s River Trail with a 3:15 time and ran a 3:18 in 1999.

Instead, he’ll do the relatively short Rock Canyon Half-Marathon on Dec. 2 in Pueblo and is planning a spring marathon somewhere. Plus, he’s already talking about how to get accepted into next June’s Western States 100, a renowned race that has a limited entry field.

Should he find a way to get into that race, the itch probably wouldn’t need much scratching – for a while, anyway.

Grand Prix Race Date Moved

The Sept. 11 terrorist attack caused some changes in the state’s September long-distance race schedule. The Grand Prix races on Sept. 30 at the Air Force Academy — which included a half-marathon, 10 and 5K — were moved to Monument Valley Park along the Fountain Creek river trail system. And the Mile High City Marathon in Denver was moved to Nov. 4 from Sept. 16.

The Mile High City also will include a half-marathon and a 5K, and you can register for the races online by accessing For information, call (303) 375-8121.

Driscolls of Pueblo

In case you were wondering how the Driscolls of Pueblo did in their Team in Training triathlon last month, note that they both finished the Los Angeles Triathlon in fine form. With his sleek, new bike a big help, Dan completed the Olympic-distance event in 3:10, while Karen was right behind in 3:17. Olympic-distance events are comprised of a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run.

Harvest Poker Run

Runners looking for a little different twist to their racing might consider the Harvest Poker Run scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Lovell Park in Pueblo West. This unusual event is both a predicted time race and a poker hand run, with runners getting a playing card at each mile. Best male and female poker hands win part of the pot from the $5 entry fee.

This also is a potluck event, with runners asked to bring a side dish to go with the chicken and liquid refreshments that the Southern Colorado Runners will provide. Also bring a lawn chair for sitting around a bonfire afterward; and marshmallows, if you’d like.

Upcoming Area Races

* Oct. 13 – Race Against Drug Abuse, 5K, City Park, 10 a.m. (647-1728)
* Oct. 21 – Breast Cancer 10K, Salida, Noon (719-530-9975)
* Oct. 27 – Harvest Poker Run 5M, Lovell Park in Pueblo West, 5 p.m. (564-9303)
* Nov. 17 – Atalanta Women’s Run, 5K run/walk, City Park, 8:45 a.m. walk, 9 a.m. run (543-7779)
* Nov. 24 – Temple Canyon Prediction Run, 4M, Cañon City, 9 a.m. (784-6514)
* Dec. 2 – Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 13M, City Park, 9 a.m. (564-9303)
* Dec. 9 – The Excellent Aventure, 8M, 117 Regency, 9 a.m. (564-6043)

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