Valentines Twosome, A Different Kind of Race
The Valentines race has always been light-hearted. That doesn’t mean that runners haven’t tried very hard to win and chosen partners with winning in mind. The fastest time recorded on the SCR web site is from the 2010 Twosome; Anna Marshall and Mike Schmidt ran 18:11. They were teammates at Pueblo West and Western State and perhaps sweethearts as well.
This year, while the winning time was a good 19:55 – Charlie Lucero and Jessica Kleven won on their third try – family seemed to be the primary theme. Five families, the Epperlys, McGivneys, Milyards, Ricks and Sawas, provided ten teams, almost half of the 24 in the race.
Justin Ricks probably was the fastest individual of the day and his chance for the overall win would have been higher if he’d run with his wife Denise but it appeared to be a family challenge as Justin ran with daughter Kylah, 9 years-old I think, and Denise with 11-year-old Malachi.
Blaise Epperly and sister Alice were the youngest team with a combined age of 12. Their parents Erin and Scott were just two seconds behind them, suggesting more support than competition. Before the race, I gave Blaise, a second grader, a couple of multiplication problems. He’s better than many high schoolers I’ve taught.
The Sawas, who came down from Parker, were perhaps overlooked by the judges in the baton contest. The three women all wore pink Denver University t-shirts with pink tutus as batons. They didn’t exactly exchange tutus but you get the idea. They were unable to persuade husband and father to wear the tutu of shirt, but they still had fun.
As a counterpoint to the family theme, Aaron Levinson came to the race with a shabby cardboard center from a paper towel roll and no partner. Angela Kleven, Jessica’s mother, called her younger daughter Lauren who was about to sit down to pancakes but was a good sport and showed up. Though they first met at the baton exchange, Lauren and Aaron took fifth overall with a good time of 22:53.
I woke to 2” of snow and wondered how I was going to mark the course. Even the paved roads near me were mostly clear. By the time the race started it was sunny and about 30. Fun day.