Was there a rumor that an iPhone was being given away? Diamonds? Did word get out that Jill Montera was going to run in a skirt? Whatever the motivation, there was a flood of race day registration for the 2007 Women’s Distance Festival. Of the 81 total finishers, 37 walkers and 44 runners, 33 signed up that morning.
The walkers started first, at 7:15. Paulette Arns went to the lead immediately, with a gap back to long-time participant Ida Mae Martinez of Walsenburg, one of MoJo’s family that used to flood the race. Behind those two stretched a long line of women smiling along. The runners, led all the way by Lauren Dunsmoor, were off fifteen minutes later and four minutes after that Paulette was back to circle the fountain on her way back out for her second lap.
There were several mother-daughter pairs in the event. Easily the fastest were Abigail and Theresa Duran who were fifth and sixth in the run, 21:58 and 21:59 respectively. At the risk of leaving out mother-daughters that I don’t know, I count at least six pairs of runners. That doesn’t include Rockette Khosla and his, I mean her, two daughters. A three generation team of walkers Debby Cortese, her daughter Jamie Faris, and runner granddaughter Riley Faris added to the family atmosphere.
Lauren Dunsmoor ran the fastest time in the nine years of the WDF preserved on our web site 18:06. Second place Jenna Dorsey-Spitz’s time of 19:43 was faster than the winner in three of those years. Sydney Mondragon’s 20:03 showed this was a top field.
I talked to Lauren extensively after her race but not before she did long cooldown and chatted with both Sydney and Jenna. Lauren admitted that she loved running more than was good for her. She has cut back to a max of 32 a week and does shorter, faster runs now. She also does thirty-minute training sessions on an elliptical machine on days when she would have been running before. She says she has plenty of energy and is running faster. She has one more year of eligibility at CSU Pueblo, but unfortunately the new Women’s track program won’t be online next spring. She was an excellent hurdler at Pueblo West High School and would like to try the steeplechase. She says she may do it unattached.
If every finisher was as happy with her performance as Lauren, it was a very successful Women’s Distance Festival.