Race commemorates middle school teacher

by | Oct 10, 2006 | News Articles

Fit to be Tied Column
October 10, 2006
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi GaryFranchi

Race commemorates middle school teacher

Three years after his passing, the heart and spirit of the late Rusty Weiler continue to beat loudly in the hallways at Pleasant View Middle School.

For nearly 30 years, Weiler taught algebra and science and coached wrestling, basketball and track at Pleasant View until being felled by a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 51. That year, the staff at the school decided to do something positive in memory of Weiler by conducting a 5K fun run/walk in his name.

On Nov. 4, the fourth annual Hustle for Russell will take place at Pleasant View. It will start with a fun run for kids 8 years old and also includes a 1-mile fun walk in addition to the competitive 5K run/walk.

Proceeds from the event will be used to update and maintain a permanent outdoor “classroom” at Pleasant View, constructed to commemorate Weiler, and to raise funds to help provide a $1,000 scholarship that is awarded each year.

The Hustle for Russell is meant to be a family celebration, and it includes music as well as activities for kids of all ages. Elementary school students can race for a registration discount of just $10, and all those in the 8-and-under fun run will receive an award.

Entry forms and more details are on the Southern Colorado Runners Calendar ),


A group of long-time friends from Cañon City enjoyed some shopping, sightseeing, fine dining and taking in entertainment and even found time to squeeze in running the Chicago Half-Marathon on Oct. 1. The nine-women contingent, most of whom are teachers, traveled together, and six of them ran the race wearing their custom-made “Colorado Runner – Running With an Altitude” T-shirts. With the experience level varying from long-time runners to beginners, their times varied but not their spirited support of each other. The finishers and their ages and times were Kerri Coulter, 51, 1:50; Jennifer Harriman, 41, 2:23; Laurie Nichols, 51, 2:39; Joan Sindler, 51, 1:59; and Laurie Wertzbaugher, 47, 1:52. Brenda Hallee, 44, formerly of Cañon City and now living in Colorado Springs, was part of the group and ran a 2:55. Their three non-running traveling companions greeted them all at the finish line.

The four-race Fall Series in the Colorado Springs area opened nicely for many current or former local runners. Over a challenging 6K course, Pueblo County High School grad Kyle Reno, 24, now living in the Springs, was eighth overall and first in the 20-24 division with a time of 29:08. A few strides behind him and also first in his age bracket was Pueblo native and Golden resident Chris Borton, 31, in 29:18. The first local finisher was Brian Ropp, 43, of Pueblo West in 29:49, good for 16th overall. Taking the lead in their respective divisions were Jordan Montera, 14 of Pueblo West in 31:55; and Henry Hund, 65, of Pueblo in 39:07. In second place in their divisions are Troy Chantala, 23, of Pueblo in 33:20 and Jennifer Moore, 23, of Cañon City in 37:30. The second race in the series will be held Oct. 15.


Pueblo’s Dave Diaz, 58, combined a vacation to Hawaii with running the Maui Marathon on Sept. 17. Despite painful ribs suffered in a fall during the Pikes Peak Marathon, Dave gutted out a 3:54:24 time to take seventh in his age division. His wife, Stacey, did the half-marathon in 2:13.

Completing the Boulder Backroads Marathon on Sept. 24 from the area were Ryan Jones 23, of Cañon City in 4:20 and Marjorie Marshall, 43, of Pueblo West in 5:51. Marv Bradley, 67, of Cañon City and Cheryl Cook-McCoy, 61, of Salida continued their marathon odyssey, annexing the Fox Cities Marathon in Appleton, Wis., on Sept. 24 to their lengthy list of 26.2-milers. Marv was second out of 277 in his age division with a 4:19 time, while Cheryl finished fifth in her age bracket in 5:24. A month earlier, Bradley won his division at the Run with the Horses Marathon in Green River, Wyo., with a time of 4:56.


Congratulations to Paul DallaGuardia, 48, of Colorado City for finishing the Harvest Moon Half-Ironman at the Aurora Reservoir on Sept. 17 in 7 hours and 6 minutes. Paul did the 1.2-mile swim in 49:57, the 56-mile bike in 3:18:53 and the half-marathon in 2:48:27 plus transitions. Only a flat tire kept him from finishing under 7 hours.

The location and format of the 2007 Ordinary Mortals Triathlon continues to be discussed. The latest possibility is using the Rock Canyon swim beach as the venue for a swim/run duathlon instead of a triathlon. A summer date is being considered.

Those who don’t like high triathlon entry fees won’t get any relief at the second annual Prospect Lake Triathlon next June 24. It will retain its $70 early entry fee that will jump to $75 after April 1 and to $85 the week of the event. One nice concession is that the $5,000 in prize money won’t go just to the elite division athletes but also to age division winners.

Upcoming Pueblo-area races

• Oct. 21 – Harvest Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 5 p.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (564-9303).
• Nov. 4 – Hustle for Russell, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Pleasant View Middle School – 23600 Everett Rd. (542-7813).
• Nov. 11 – Atalanta Women’s 5K, run/walk, 9 a.m., Pueblo City Park (564-9303).
• Nov. 25 – Temple Canyon Run, 4M, 9 a.m., Cañon City (784-6514).
• Dec. 2 – Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 9 a.m., Pueblo City Park (564-9303).

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at garyf@bresnan.net.