Community runs to help Paul Driskill |

Community runs to help Paul Driskill

Mike VidakovichGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

It was the summer of 1972 when former Glenwood Elementary School counselor Darrell Stanley and teaching colleague Paul Driskill began running together. They had both recently lost their fathers to heart disease and were determined to not suffer the same fate.”We decided to start running laps around the school softball field to get in better shape,” said Stanley. “Paul never stopped.”So it has been the case for the last 35 years that Driskill rarely missed a day on the roads.”I think Paul’s the one who originated that song, ‘I’ve Got To Be Me,'” said Jamie Darien, who taught with Driskill for many years. “The days when it was freezing you would still see him out running, or he would be in the gym doing laps. He’s always been his own person.”Regardless of time, weather, or distance, the man some refer to as Glenwood’s running guru has been as consistent as the rising sun. That is until the early morning hours of Sept. 22, when a hit-and-run driver cut his daily outing short.When news of the severity of Driskill’s injuries spread, the Glenwood community held its breath. Likewise, with the outlook for Driskill’s recovery becoming more positive each day, there has been a collective sigh of relief, and people have come forward wanting to know how they can help.That’s when the members of the Glenwood High School cross country team and its coaches, Mike Schneiter and Kim Worline, decided to put on Wednesday evening’s Paul Driskill 5K run to help offset some of the family’s medical expenses. “We wanted to help the Driskills with medical costs and costs associated with family members wanting to be with Paul,” Worline said. “The team feels honored to help someone who’s given so much to others.”Team member McKenna Casey said she not only is happy to help out the Driskill family, but that she used to gauge whether or not she was on time or late for school based on where she spotted Paul on his morning runs.”I used to ride my bike to the middle school, and I knew I was late if he wasn’t in his normal spot on the road. If he was too close to our house, I knew I had better hurry up,” said Casey.As for the race itself, just over 100 runners and walkers showed up on a perfect fall afternoon. Bernie Boettcher of Silt was the overall winner with a time of 17 minutes and 20 seconds. A fast time for Boettcher considering he ran a blistering 2:33.52 marathon in St. George, Utah last weekend. Former Glenwood High School runner Chris Coddington was the runner-up in see page 2Sarah Shepard won the women’s race in 20:14, a time which placed the former University of Colorado at Colorado Springs runner third overall. Competition aside, the best news of the day came when Glenwood cross country coach Mike Schneiter announced that the event raised close to $4,000 and that more money would be coming in the form of donations and payments from silent auction items. Schneiter said donations can still be made through the Paul Driskill Fundraiser account at the U.S. Bank in Glenwood or the Glenwood High cross country team.The support from the community has been very touching to the Driskill family.”Please thank everyone for their prayers, love, and support,” said Jeannie Driskill, who is spending each evening on a cot in her husband’s room at St. Mary’s Hospital. “We really appreciate what Kim Worline and the Stanley family have done for us.”Via a phone conversation on Tuesday morning, Paul wanted to also express his gratitude for all that has been done and to offer up words that could only come from someone who has fought the battles that distance running brings.”Just tell everyone thank you and don’t ever give up,” he said.Longtime friend and fellow runner Jack Green sums up best Paul’s running pioneer spirit.”He’s the guru,” said Green. “He blazed the trail before the rest of us ever put on running shoes. He’s the original junk runner – anytime, anywhere, any weather.” The prevailing message on Wednesday was simple: “Get well Paul. We miss you.”

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