‘Y’ Issues Challenge for World’s Largest Race

by | May 1, 2001 | News Articles

May, 2001 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi

‘Y’ Issues Challenge for World’s Largest Race

Bidding to make next month’s national World’s Largest Run (WLR) one of the biggest races in Pueblo as well, the YMCA is taking aim at its usual target – kids. Every elementary school in the two Pueblo school districts, as well as private schools, has been given race flyers to distribute to every kid.

The goal is to get a great turnout of the kids – and, hopefully, their parents and other family members – at the event. With a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) distance, the WLR is very do-able for both runners and walkers.

The real lure for the youngsters is to compete en masse with their classmates since the YMCA will provide a free pizza party for the classroom that has the greatest WLR participation in each school. A low entry free of just $5 for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years old makes it affordable for both the kids and for families to participate.

“We really would like entire families to come out that day,” said Ben Valdez of the YMCA. Each and every one of them will receive a race T-shirt and a cool finisher’s certificate.

The ones that do will be be part of racing history. To celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the YMCA in the U.S., there will be 700 such WLR events throughout the country with hundreds of thousands of runners and walkers expected to participate.

What’s more, all of the races will have one synchronized starting time. While the race will begin at 8 a.m. here in Pueblo, for instance, it will start at 4 a.m. in Hawaii. Pueblo is one of six such World’s Largest Run events in Colorado, the others being in Trinidad, Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder and Longmont.

The Pueblo race, which will start at 9th Street and Albany Avenue just a block north of the YMCA, will include much post-race pageantry. The lower YMCA parking lot will be closed off for entertainment (jazz band, marching band, a juggler, etc.), vendors, booths, etc.

In addition, the Y will have a free open house to all racers afterward until closing time. (The pool wil be reserved for lap swimming for members from noon to 1 p.m.)

FCA challenge: Local attorney Don Banner, chair of the capital campaign to develop a new Y facility, is offering $10 to that campaign for every member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes who participates in the race (up to $1,500).

Entry forms: They are available at the YMCA and at the Gold Dust Saloon on Union Avenue.

Entry fees: Besides the $5 fee for kids 6-12, the fee for those 13 and over who preregister by May 18 is $15 ($18 afterward). Kids 5 and under will be admitted free but won’t receive a T-shirt.

Registration: Mail in your registration form and check or register in person at the YMCA To register online, go to www.ymca.net. Race-day registration will begin at 6:30 a.m.

Volunteers: If you can help on race day, call Ben at 543-5151.

Cinco de Mayo 10K

Be aware of a few important things about the Cinco de Mayo 10K scheduled for May 6: 1, The race is SUNDAY, not Saturday. 2, It will begin at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. as in past years. 3, The first entry forms distributed on the race incorrectly listed the race date as Saturday, May 6, which doesn’t exist this year. 4, Enjoy it – you probably won’t find an easier 10K course in Colorado.

Ordinary Mortals Triathlon

Both the male and female races in the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon, which this year will be held over two days, are more than half full. Females will compete on Saturday, May 19, with males competing the next day. The triathlon’s modest distances – 525-meter swim, 12-mile bike and 3-mile run – attract all ability levels. Registration forms are at the “Y” and the Gold Dust or online at Active.com.

Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

Both waves of the Pikes Peak Ascent (Aug. 18) are filled, and the Pikes Peak Marathon (Aug. 19) was 89 percent filled the last time I checked. You can register for that online at www.pikespeakmarathon.org.

Upcoming Area Races

Entry forms for all local races can usually be found in the inside foyer at the YMCA in downtown Pueblo and just inside the second front entrance door at the Gold Dust Saloon on Union Avenue. If you can’t find forms at either of those locations, call the respective race’s director at the number listed below.

* May 6 – Cinco de Mayo, 10K, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 9 a.m. (947-3682)
* May 19 – Ordinary Mortals Triathlon (females), Pueblo West Regional Center, 7 a.m. (543-5151)
* May 19 – Armed Forces Day Run, 10K, Fort Carson, 8 a.m. (719-550-4618).
* May 20 – Ordinary Mortals Triathlon (males), Pueblo West Regional Center, 7 a.m. (543-5151)
* May 26 – Run for Rio, 3+M run/walk, Rye High School, 8 a.m. (719-859-5136)
* May 26 – Run in the Valley, 5K run and 1.5M walk, Westcliffe (719-783-0137
* June 2 – World’s Largest Race, 5K run/walk, Pueblo YMCA (543-5151)
* June 8 – Holy Family Run, 5K run and 1.5M walk, Prairie & Jones (547-4187)
* June 9 – River Run Classic, 5K run/walk and 10K run, Canon City (275-1578)

See ya next month.

Gary Franchi can be reached via e-mail at gfranchi@fone.net.