Two Races Continue Runner-Friendly Tradition

by | Jun 1, 2003 | News Articles

June, 2003 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Two Races Continue Runner-Friendly Tradition

It’s no stretch to say that, over the years, Southeast Colorado has gained a reputation for being runner-friendly.

In competition circles, that means race producers in this region provide the “extras” that make runners enjoy the racing experience here. Those amenities might range from friendly course marshals, special awards and, generally, just a positive racing atmosphere in addition to a quality race.

Part of the lure is certainly the fact that races in this region aren’t overwhelmingly large as they are in other parts of the state. I mean, it would be a tad difficult to provide such “extras” in, say, the Bolder Boulder, which had 45,000 participants last month.

Pueblo County has its share of quality races that attract many runners year after year because of their down-home, runner-friendly atmosphere. Two more of them will be taking place during the next month.

On June 28, Ron Dehn will be conducting the third annual Little Run on the Prairie at Lovell Park in Pueblo West. Saying that this 5K run/2K walk includes some “extras” is definitely an understatement.

For one, how often do award winners have the chance to choose between unique, home-made prizes or traditional medals? Too, the Colorado Lottery has contributed a slew of door prizes that will be given out through drawing after the race.

Also – and this is the kicker – two T-shirts autographed by former marathon great Bill Rodgers will be auctioned off after the race. And Maddy Tormoen, who has qualified for the women’s Olympic Trials Marathon for the third time, will be on hand tohelp hand out awards. Maddy is currently recovering from recent surgery.

Then on July 5, area females are invited to run or walk in the Women’s Distance Festival, a 5K that takes place inside City Park. This year will mark Marijane Martinez’s swan song as the event’s long-time race director, and ample numbers of her extensive family will be on hand. As has been the tradition for the race’s 21-year history, Kathie Arwood will again provide home-made awards.

Area races

Despite their popularity, two other extremely popular area races have been dropped from the calendar this year, one of them probably for good, both because of family obligations. The Pioneer Run, scheduled for July 19 on the Hollydot Golf Course in Colorado City, has been cancelled for this year. And the Beulah Challenge, originally set for Aug. 2, has been nixed as well and probably won’t return in the future.

Meanwhile, Stan Hren is planning to conduct the second annual Dam Race (10K) on Sept. 7 at the John Martin Reservoir near Las Animas.

Triple Crown

A huge throng of runners from southeast Colorado was treated to perfect weather conditions last Sunday for the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run in Manitou Springs. Because of its beautiful and challenging course, the Garden attracts runners from many states. It also is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Running series that includes the Summer Roundup in July and the Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon in August.

Leading the way for the local runners were Mark Koch of Pueblo, who had a time of one hour, six minutes and 21 seconds for to place 46th overall among males, and Jill Montera of Pueblo West, who was ninth overall among females with a 1:14:09. Mark’s brother Paul, who lives in Colorado Springs, was 10th overall among males in 1:01:22.

The limited fields for both the Ascent and Marathon have been filled and registration for them has closed.

Ride the Rockies

A dozen cyclists from Pueblo and Cañon City will take part in the Ride the Rockies bicycle tour that will begin June 15 in Cortez. Selected through a lottery were Puebloans Dave Anderson, James Archuleta, Jan Dudley, Mary Rudolf, Robert Shiflett, James Valenzuela, Jay Valenzuela and Al Warren; and Cañon City’s Bryon Holloway, Tim Madigan, and Jane and Wade Yamagauchi. The week-long tour will cover 404 miles before finishing in Copper Mountain on June 21. It includes a rest day in Gunnison on June 19.


Two events in Colorado are proving with their popularity that there is a special lure for women-only triathlons. The women’s division of our own Ordinary Mortals Triathlon last month was a “sellout” that actually added pool heats to accommodate part of the demand. Meanwhile, the Danskin Women’s Triathlon scheduled for Aug. 3 at Cherry Creek State Park in Denver filled its 2,300 race field on the same day entries opened. Both triathlons are low-key and attractive as “first-time” triathlon experiences.

Upcoming Area Races

  • June 21 – River Run Classic, 5K run/walk and 10K run, 8 a.m., Cañon City (275-1578).
  • June 28 – Little Run on the Prairie, 5K run, 2K walk, 8 a.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (547-9273).
  • July 4 – Run for the Summit, 5K run/walk, 7 a.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (547-4025).
  • July 5 – Women’s Distance Festival, 5K run/walk, walk at 7:30 a.m. and run at 7:45, City Park (564-6043).
  • July 12 – Moonlight Madness (Prediction Series race), 5M, 8:30 p.m., 3685 Verde Rd. (676-7343).

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