December, 2002 Fit to be Tied Column
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi
Rock Canyon Half-Marathon Provides Last Long-Distance Test for 2002
Runners in this region and many more from distant locales throughout the state will be converging on Pueblo on Sunday morning for one last long-distance test for 2002.
The lure will be 16th annual Rock Canyon Half-Marathon that will have a field of approximately 200 runners when the starting gun goes off at 9 a.m. in Pueblos City Park. The bulk of the course is on the Pueblo River Trail system.
Runners from cities as far away as Fort Collins, Creede and Coaldale were registered by Thursday evening, and the coolish temperatures in the 20s and 30s that are forecast today while not ideal for walking to your local Loaf n Jug for a Krispy Kreme doughnut could be a runners paradise if the snowfall stays at a minimum.
The field will include at least a couple of past champions who honed their running talent in Pueblo before moving on to larger cities. They are Steve Cathcart, who now lives in Fort Collins, and Paul Koch, who has excelled for years from his home base in Colorado Springs. Both ran at Pueblo County High School.
On the other end of the spectrum in terms of finishing times but not in terms of running spirit will be the half-dozen over-70 runners who are entered. They include Gerald Puls, who will be on his home turf again after a summer spent traveling to several states to compete in his preferred mode of competition — the triathlon. Not among the over-70 contingent, however, is Puebloan John Holiman, who is injured.
The race will also give the Southern Colorado Runners an opportunity to test the Race Director software program that they are planning to use for the 2003 Spring Runoff scheduled for March 2. The SCR will produce the race, and local high school math teacher Dave Diaz is the race director for his 10th year.
Late registration will take place from 8 to 8:45 a.m. at the City Park Pavilion.
You can expect many new organizational twists to ensure a smoother registration procedure for the Spring Runoff, which will be celebrating its 25th annual run and its third consecutive year at Dutch Clark Stadium. The registration area will be expanded to include two separate tents for pre-registered runners and those registering on race day. There also will be an information booth. Registration for the 9 a.m. four-race (2M walk and 5K, 10K and 10M runs) start will be cut off at 8:15 a.m. There again will be a 50-yard Toddlers Race for youths 6 years old and younger.
Congratulations to several area runners who placed among the leaders in their age divisions and took home awards in the four-race Fall Series in the Colorado Springs area. They included Brian Ropp of Pueblo West, Chief Reno and Henry Hund of Pueblo, and Roy Hughes, Karen Monk and Marcia Hughes of Cañon City.
Upcoming Pueblo-area Races
Dec 8 Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 13.1M, 9 a.m., Pueblo City Park (564-9303).
Dec. 15 The Excellent Adventure (Prediction Race Series), 9 a.m., 8M, 117 Regency, Pueblo (564-6043).
Feb. 9 Valentines Twosome partners race, 1.6M each partner, 9 a.m., Pueblo City Park (947-3682).
Feb. 15 Frostbite Five, 5M, 10 a.m., Pueblo City Park (543-5151).
Feb. 23 Spring Runoff Tuneup (Prediction Series race), 10K, 9 a.m., 3912 Goodnight Ave. (564-0847).
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