Spring Runoff gearing up for 32nd annual run/walk
If it’s February, this marks the 32nd consecutive year that runners of all ability levels are training for next month’s Pueblo Chieftain-sponsored Spring Runoff, which to date is Pueblo’s biggest road race ever. The race is date is March 7, and the multi-race extravaganza will begin at 9 a.m. at Dutch Clark Stadium.
Officially, the Runoff had 891 run and walk finishers last year plus dozens of kids who took part in the toddler race. Those participating in the 1.6-mile walk and the 5K, 10K and 10-mile races this year will receive a long-sleeved technical shirt. There is no entry fee (and no shirt) for those in the Funner to be a Runner One-Mile Youth Run and the toddler race (which is for kids 6 and under), but they will all receive a ribbon when they cross the finish line. All walkers will receive sharp Spring Runoff finisher medals.
In a change this year, both the toddler and Funner to be a Runner races will take place at 10:45 a.m., making it easier for parents who have kids in both races. Both will start and finish inside Dutch Clark, while the walk and the three distance races will start in the parking lot outside the stadium but finish inside it.
Those planning to participate in the Spring Runoff walk or run should note that the early registration deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 26. The fee for adults is $20 ($18 for members of the Southern Colorado Runners, which conducts the race). Those 18 and under have a reduced $12 entry fee. However, all those not registered by Feb. 26, including youths, will have a $25 entry fee. The cost jumps to $35 on race day, and the cutoff time for registering on race day is 8:15 a.m.
Entry forms are available at The Chieftain, Gold Dust Saloon on Union Ave., Pueblo YMCA near Pueblo Blvd. and Highway 50, Runner’s Roost in Colorado Springs and sporting goods outlets in the region. They also can be downloaded from the SCR’s website (www.socorunners.org). Online registration also is available on the SCR website.
Packets can be picked up at The Pueblo Chieftain, 825 W. Sixth St., from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm. On Friday, March 5, and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. On race day, packets will be available at Dutch Clark Stadium and must be picked up by 8:15 a.m. All race-day packet pickup and registration will take in the tent on the parking lot side (where the race starts) this year after both sides were used last year.
The ever-popular Valentine’s Twosome two-person relay race will be renewed at 9 a.m. Sunday at City Park. Each runner runs one lap (1.6 miles) around City Park carrying a baton. The race encourages male-female relay teams although two female teams will be accepted. Awards are chocolate from Nettie’s Colorado Candy. Runners are encouraged to run in costume, and there will be awards for the teams with the biggest, most romantic, most creative and ugliest batons.
On Feb. 21, runners can get primed for next month’s Spring Runoff by participating in the Spring Runoff Tuneup, a 10K Prediction Series event conducted by the Southern Colorado Runners on the race’s 10K course. It will start and finish near the City Park pool parking lot before heading to the River Trail, coming up behind Dutch Clark Stadium and covering Aberdeen streets back to City Park and to the finish. This is a no-frills race with no entry fee nor T-shirts, and it is part of the year-long Prediction Series conducted by the SCR.
Two trail runs will take place the weekend of March 20-21. The Widefield 5-Mile Run & 5K Walk will be held on March 20 on the Fountain Creek Nature Trail system just a short distance north of Pueblo to Mesa Ridge Parkway at Exit 132. The race benefits the track teams at Mesa Ridge and Widefield high schools. The following day, the third SCR Prediction Series race of 2010 – the Mad Max Trail Run – will be conducted at the Pueblo Nature Center. The run takes place on the plateau above the Nature Center, and runners have a choice of the 4.6-mile or 10.3-mile courses.
This year’s Spank Blasing 5K & 10K race, set for April 18, will have a later 10 a.m. starting time this year at CSU-Pueblo’s Thunderbowl. That will enable runners to finish the race, have a complimentary breakfast burrito and stick around for CSU-Pueblo’s annual spring football game at 2 p.m. The race has many notables. The courses will be certified. Deviating from some past years, all runners will get T-shirts. The start will be outside the stadium, with runners doing a lap upon entering the stadium near the end. Chip timing will be used. Runners 18 and under get a $10 discount on their entry fee, being able to race for $15. There also is a $70 family plan for two adults and two kids in a family, with each additional family member being able to enter for $10.
The sport of triathlon will make an unusual return to Pueblo when the Addict to Athlete program teams with the Pueblo Athletic Club to present an inaugural indoor event on Feb. 27 & 28. The format calls for triathletes to run 20 minutes on a treadmill, ride a stationary Keiser bike for 30 minutes and finish by swimming for 10 minutes, all at the PAC. Results on based on total distances covered in those times. Waves will start 20 minutes apart. The field is already filled but some slots are available to members of the Southern Colorado Runners. The entry fee is a modest $10 to PAC members and $15 to non-members..
The Pueblo Active Community Environments (PACE) organization, in conjunction with the Pueblo City-County Health Department, is organizing a “Walk-n-Roll Pueblo” campaign to promote an active lifestyle by scheduling several opportunities for Puebloans to bike, walk, skate or run this spring (April through June) plus two Bike to Work Day events (on May 21 and June 23). More information will appear in this column as the event dates approach, but note that a criterium bike race is being considered for downtown Pueblo on May 23, and PACE is developing a website (www.activepueblo.net) that should be available by March 1. More information is available from Kim Arline via e-mail at email@example.com or Cathy Dehn at 583-4315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Sunday – Valentine’s Twosome. 1.6M each partner, 9 a.m., City Park, email@example.com.
• Feb. 21 – Spring Runoff Tuneup (Prediction Series race), 10K, 9 a.m. City Park pool parking lot, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Feb. 27&28 – Indoor Triathlon, 20- min. run, 30- min. stationary bike, 10-min. swim, 9 a.m., Pueblo Athletic Club, email@example.com.
• March 7 – Spring Runoff, 1.6M walk, 5K, 10K & 10M run, 1M fun run & 50-yard toddler race, 9 am, Dutch Clair Stadium, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• March 20 – Widefield Run/Walk, 5M run & 5K walk, 8:30 a.m., Fountain Creek Nature Trail, 719-391-3515.
• March 21 – Mad Max Trail Run (Prediction Series race), 4.6M & 10.3M, 8 a.m., Nature Center, email@example.com.
• April 10 – Ramsgate 8 (Prediction Series race), 8K, 8 a.m., 8 Ramsgate in Pueblo, dlpfost11%mindspring.com.
• April 18 – Spank Blasing, 5K & 10K runs & 2M walk, 10 a.m., CSU-Pueblo Thunderbowl, todd.Kelly@colostate-ueblo.edu.
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.