A couple of local sporting events that are dear to my heart | PostIndependent.com

A couple of local sporting events that are dear to my heart

Mike Vidakovich
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Mike Vidakovich
ALL |

Thomas Wolfe was right. You can’t go home again, because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory.

The place of my origin has changed greatly, and even though I’ve only gone away for college and a few other brief stints, I have not changed with it. In my memory, it stands as it once did, and its current outward appearance confuses and sometimes angers me.

To my liking, there are still a few local sporting events that bring old and valued friends back to the valley to join those of us who are remnants of the past – this Sunday’s annual Strawberry Shortcut Run and Mike Picore’s Hoop D’Ville Basketball Tournament, which tips off June 27 at the Sayre Park courts.

At both gatherings, the greetings will be enthusiastic, and the memories will come flooding up. Old crimes and triumphs will be brought out and dusted off.

The hairlines will have receded a bit, but the pilot light always flickers to spark the competitive fire within each of us.

The Shortcut has survived the test of time, but has undergone some changes through the years.

I preferred the old 5- and 10-kilometer courses much more than the present race configuration. I still find myself wanting to head straight for that finish banner on Seventh Street, like in the old days, instead of making the uphill turn south toward the high school, with still over a mile to go.

Maybe someday I’ll pull a Rosie Ruiz and, instead of turning, I’ll just trot right on into the finish line. I’m so far back, no one would notice anyway. I usually get my walking fits in that last mile, so cutting it out altogether might be the plan.

I don’t always make it to the Shortcut, but when I do, I can count on two constants. Paul Driskill will be there and Jimmy Yellico will do a great job of organizing the race and taking good care of all the participants.

My teams used to be a factor in the Hoop D’Ville tourney, but no longer. Father Time teaches very harsh lessons.

When our stalwart, Paul Cain, lost a step (or three) and couldn’t dominate the action any longer, each year we found ourselves grinding through the consolation bracket with the also-rans.

Ben Sarno used to name his tourney teams after road signs (Point of Interest, Proceed With Caution, etc.). Maybe this year I’ll follow Gentle Ben’s lead and call my team Consolation Bracket.

The hoops is much more fun than the road running – always has been. But I admire the folks who are getting up in the years and continue to push themselves and test their personal limits. There’s really no other choice, unless you just stop and get old and fat.

Not an option.

Boys in purple are on fire

Break up the Colorado Rockies. New manager Jim Tracy has those boys in purple playing like they care again. At least they are trying now and playing with some focus and spirit to their game.

If shortstop Tulowitzki starts living up to his billing (and hefty contract), then who knows how the summer will play out for this young team. Rockie Todd Helton is a clutch player and, along with Nugget Chauncey Billups, the classiest of all Denver sports personalities.

Mike Vidakovich is a freelance sports writer for the Post Independent.


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