Hejtmanek wins Banzai 5K with super performance
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
WEST GLENWOOD, Colorado – Josh Hejtmanek of New Castle and Eagle’s Andrea Arnhold made a dash up the hills in West Glenwood and back down them again, to take the race honors at the fourth annual Banzai Trail 5K Run/Walk on Saturday.
Hejtmanek, clad in Superman attire, put in a super performance on a difficult road and trail course, posting a time of 19 minutes, 30 seconds to hold off a hard-charging Brian Passenti by a scant four seconds as the two battled down the home stretch to the finish on Donegan Road.
Hejtmanek, who carries a perpetual smile with him – and, on this day, a red cape – was happy to have a victory, but also marveled at the beauty of the Storm King Mountain trail he had just conquered.
“Scenic course. It’s always fun to be in the mountains,” said Hejtmanek, who finds himself in the winner’s circle at most local races.
Glenwood’s Passenti, also an accomplished local racer, had a time of 19:34. Third place for the men went to Brian Johnson of Aspen with a time of 20:36.
Former Glenwood Springs Middle School teacher Andrea Arnhold made the short drive from Eagle back to her old stomping ground to best the ladies field with a time of 25:01. Arnhold, a new mom, doesn’t make many race appearances these days, but she makes them count when she ventures to the starting line.
Glenwood’s Abbey Walters, fresh off the Chicago Marathon, was second for the women with a time of 25:49. Walters was followed in third by Glenwood’s Erin Dorr in 26:09.
This year’s Banzai Trail Run drew a field of 53 runners and walkers. The race was a benefit for the Rifle Animal Shelter, the Pauline Schneegas Wildlife Foundation in Silt and the Valley Dog Rescue in Carbondale.
In just over three weeks time, on Nov. 24, the Turkey Day 5K will be run for the 25th and final time at Glenwood Springs Golf Club. The always popular race will start at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Get in shape and be there to bid a fond farewell to a Glenwood tradition.
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