Runoff start of 3-race series
If you were among the 485 finishers of either the 5-kilometer, 10K or 10-mile races in the March 2 Pueblo Chieftain Spring Runoff, you have the chance to participate in the new Pueblo Toyota Running Series this year. The series also includes the sixth annual Spank Blasing Memorial Run on April 19 and the Cinco de Mayo Run on May 4.
It doesn’t matter that all three series races have a choice of distances; runners receive points based on where they place in their age division and where overall in their respective race. However, the longer-distance races are worth more points.
There are perks for running all three races, starting with gift certificates for top three overall male and female finishers. And in addition to age-group awards, all series participants will be given a microfiber T-shirt after the final race.
The concept of a three-race series isn’t new to Pueblo, and it’s not the first time the Runoff has been involved. More than two decades ago, a series included the Runoff’s 10-mile race, the Osprey Half-Marathon (which evolved into the Rock Canyon Half) and the River Trail Marathon. The distances for the Toyota Series are much more accessible to the average runner.
More information on the upcoming Spank Blasing Run and the series are available by calling Todd Kelly at 549-2013.
Pueblo offers a rarity in April – the chance for runners to race each weekend, including two Prediction Series events that the Southern Colorado Runners will conduct. Besides the Skip Blasing Run on April 19, the St. John Neumann 5K Run & 1M Fun Run/Walk will take place on April 12 at City Park, providing a family-oriented event that even offers a concession-style barbecue afterward. The two Prediction Series events are the Ramsgate 8, an 8K scheduled on April 5 on the streets of Belmont and taking in university grounds, and the popular Ben & Matt’s Trail Mix that covers 10+ miles on the scenic bluffs above and to the west of the Nature Center.
Pueblo is getting its second new race this year, albeit a one-time thing, as Pueblo Community College and CSU-Pueblo will team to produce what will probably be a 5K on July 13. It’s part of a grandiose day of activities at PCC to celebrate both institutions’ 75th anniversary. It will take start and finish at PCC, but the run/walk distance hasn’t been decided yet. Stay tuned. Last month, a group from Parkview Medical Center announced it would conduct the inaugural Diabetic Group 5K on May 10.
While not a race, all are invited to participate in a torch run to commemorate the 40-year anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that will take place on April 4.It will start at 8 a.m. at I-25 and mile marker 104 and will make its way to the Vietnam Wall at 26th and Elizabeth streets. The run is sponsored by the African American Culture Club at Pueblo Community College. Those wishing to register for the torch run should call Ruth Steele, director of the Martin Luther King Museum, at 214-7109.
Those who run the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day will be able to watch the race replay on TV that evening since the event won’t be shown live this year but instead will be replayed at 8:30 p.m. on CBS4 in Denver. The Bolder has 35 packet pickup spots in the state, with the closest to Pueblo being four sites in Colorado Springs – two Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, the Runners Roost and the Boulder Running Company.
The original Colorado State Games, which evolved into the Rocky Mountain State Games, has now been renamed the State Games of the West and moved up a week from the previous schedule. Its sprint triathlon will take place on July 26 at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. The following day is the 5K run-walk, also at Memorial Park. This year an open-water swim consisting of 1.5K and 3K distances in Prospect Lake there has been added to the schedule the same morning as the 5K. Hence, you could do the 5K run/walk at 7:30 a.m., change into your swim gear and do the open-water for a nice morning workout. Triathletes who also like running the relatively fast Classic 10K in Colorado Springs will have to pick their event this year since that the Classic is on the same day as the State Games triathlon.
With the return of warmer weather and daylight saving time comes the need to dust off and tune up the bicycles. The Great Divide gave cyclists a three-week reprieve by scheduling its annual St. Patty’s social ride three weeks later and calling it the Spring Fling. It’s scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, April 6, at the Airport Industrial Park. This is also an opportunity to demo ride some new Specialized and Trek bikes.
The second annual Lake Pueblo Arkansas Point Bike Challenge will have new courses for mountain bikers in different ability levels plus a junior category when it is held April 20. Thanks to the growing regional popularity of the trail system south of Lake Pueblo, organizers are thinking big. Whereas 52 mountain bikers competed last year, they’ve capped the event at 150 competitors this year. All the race details are on the Southern Colorado Trail Builders’ website.
Family, friends and followers of cyclist Danny Pate’s professional career have to be getting excited. The Slipstream/Chipotle team that the Pueblo native rides for has been officially invited to this year’s Tour de France, which runs July 5-27. Only nine of the team’s cyclists will be selected for the Tour, so there’s nothing guaranteed for Pate yet. The Tour team should be decided after the Giro d’Italia, which runs May 10-June 1.Pate, who now lives in Colorado Springs, has been competing professionally since 2000.
• April 5 – Ramsgate 8, 8K, 8 a.m., 8 Ramsgate in Pueblo (544-9633).
• April 12 – John Neumann Panther Run, 5K run & 2M fun run/walk, 10 a.m., City Park (568-2941).
• April 19 – Spank Blasing Memorial, 5K/10K runs & 2M fun walk, 9 a.m., CSU-Pueblo (549-2013).
• April 20 – Lake Pueblo Arkansas Point Bike Challenge mountain bike races, 10 a.m., Lake Pueblo (248-9692).
• April 27 – Ben & Matt’s Trail Mix (Prediction Series race), 10+ miles, 8 a.m., Pueblo Nature Center (547-8182).
• May 3 – Blossom Day 5K Run & 5K Run/Walk, 8 a., Centennial Park, Canon City (429-4007).
• May 4 – Cinco de Mayo, 5K/10K runs & 2M fun walk, 9 a.m., State Fairgrounds (564-7659).
• Southern Colorado Runners: www.socorunners.org/
• State Games of the West: www.thesportscorp.org/html/sportsCorp/SGW2008/index.html
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at email@example.com.