Record Number Ran Spring Runoff (despite cold weather conditions)

by | Mar 1, 2002 | News Articles

March, 2002 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Record Number Ran Spring Runoff (despite cold weather conditions)

Well, I think my ears have finally thawed out from the frostbite that set in while working the finish line at the Spring Runoff on March 3.

While the event had been blessed with mostly good weather the past several years, it wasn’t as lucky this time in its 24th running. Still, since there was ample sunshine, the Runoff wouldn’t have seemed nearly as chilly without the breeze.

Being tough sorts, runners usually aren’t much bothered by poor weather. Whatever the conditions, they turn out to experience the endorphin high, and a few brave souls always seem to break out the singlets and shorts.

But this time was a bit different. There were no singlets, although I did spot a couple of runners wearing shorts. And while well over 600 were registered, there was a considerably less number of finishers – 548 – in the five races (1-mile, 5-kilometer, 10K and 10M runs and 2-mile walk).

Why the discrepancy in the numbers? What happened to the others? Did they elect to stay in bed in the warmth of their homes? Did they get lost on the course? Are they still out somewhere? Will we ever know?

One thing we DO know is that next year’s 25th anniversary Spring Runoff will not have the same problems with the early results that occurred this year. Some runners have wondered why their times were messed up, others why their names were left out of the results altogether.

Rather than speculating about the reason(s), let me just say that the results have been corrected and are now posted on the Southern Colorado Runners’ web site

Also, that group will be meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at The Pueblo Chieftain to discuss the 2002 Runoff and begin charting a course for an even better race next year. They also invite any community members who would like to be on the Runoff planning committee to join them at that time.

Running news

Bolder Boulder

Bolder Boulder 10K entry forms came out about the same time that the sub-zero weather hit southeast Colorado at the start of March. Entry forms are available everywhere along the front range – well, from Colorado Springs on up anyway. Down here, if you were not mailed one, you can register online at

The basic package — which includes a snack bag, drink, T-shirt, live musical entertainment, skydivers and cooling hose sprays along the course — will cost you $28. The people-watching opportunites are worth at least that much.

To be seeded in the first 17 waves, qualifying times of under an hour are required.

Cinco de Mayo

Host families are sought for runners from Chihuahua, Mexico who will be making the annual sojourn to Pueblo to run in the Cinco de Mayo 10K on Sunday, May 5. If you would like to house a couple of the visiting runners, call Hilbert Navarro at 564-7685. The Cinco, by the way, is adding a two-mile walk division this year.

Multi-sport news

Hoff & Leigh Winter Triathlon

Puebloan Blake Ottersberg, a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, started his triathlon season in grand style by winning the Hoff & Leigh Winter Triathlon last month at Colorado College. The event consisted of a 500-yard pool swim, a 6.5-mile mountain bike and a 2-mile run, and Blake completed it in 37 minutes and 49 seconds to win with a 38-second cushion.

For those of us who have been accused of taking naps in transitions, this event is a dream come true. Following the swim, competitors had unlimited time to dry off, change and hop on their bikes, a procedure I’ve generally always followed. In this race, though, the clock wasn’t running during that transition.

The Hoff & Leigh was the opening leg of the six-race 2002 Colorado Triathlon Series, with the rest of the races to be held this summer.

University of Southern Colorado professor George Dallam was 12th overall and second in the 40-44 age division with a 40:28 time.

Y-Bi Classic Duathlon

Undoubtedly in an attempt to change its karma and avoid the wrath of the weather gods, the YMCA has altered the format of the this year’s Y-Bi Classic Duathlon, which is scheduled for April 21. Instead of the usual 11.2-mile bike and 5.5-mile run, the Y-Bi is going to a run-bike-run format, with the distances a 2.5-mile run, 11.2-mile bike and 3-mile run.

The Y-Bi has been plagued by unbelievably rotten weather in past years, including an unexpected snowfall at the start of the race last year. It is due for a break.

YMCA’s Ordinary Mortals Triathlon

Entry forms for the YMCA’s Ordinary Mortals Triathlon, scheduled for May 18-19 in Pueblo West, are out and available at the “Y”, and registrations are already being received. The fields are limited, and both the female (18th) and male (19th) races filled early last year. The Ordinary Mortals is not part of the above-mentioned Colorado Triathlon Series.

A New Sprint-Distance Triathlon

In case you missed it on The Chieftain’s regional page earlier this month, a new sprint-distance triathlon is in the works for this summer in Alamosa. The San Luis Valley Spring Triathlon will be held at San Luis Lakes State Park. The swim distance is still being determined, but the bike will be 12 miles and the run three miles. A June 22 or 23 date is being planned.

San Luis Lake is said to be pretty chilly, but triathletes will take new events wherever they can get them. Besides, is that not what wetsuits are supposed to be for, instead of for the buoyancy factor?

Upcoming Pueblo Races

* March 24 – Ben & Matt’s Trail Mix, 6.1M Prediction Series race, Nature Center, 8 a.m., 543-5151.
* April 6 – Ramsgate 8 Prediction Race, 8K, 8 Ramsgate Place in Belmont, 8 a.m., 544-9633.
* April 21 – Y-Bi Classic Duathlon, 2.5M run, 11.2M bike, 3M run, Pueblo West, 9 a.m., 543-5151.
* April 27 – USC X Challenge, team event challenge, USC, 8 a.m., 549-2619 or 549-2084.
* May 5 – Cinco de Mayo Run for the Rose, 10K run and 2M walk, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 8 a.m., 564-7685.

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