A new ‘Mother’s Day Mile-stone’

John Stroud
Post Independent Staff
Kelley Cox / Post Independent
Staff Photo |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Nancy Reinisch and Paul Salmen admit a little bit of trepidation about giving up their baby.

But that’s mostly for the memories of family, friends and special times organizing the Mother’s Day Mile, the annual tradition they founded 14 years ago as a fundraising benefit for the Advocate Safehouse Project.

“After all these years of shaping it and changing it, we feel that it’s in great hands,” Salmen said Wednesday evening while helping to go over the final details for this Sunday’s event in the parking lot at Glenwood Medical Associates, where the Mother’s Day Mile is staged each year.

The husband-and-wife co-founders of the Mother’s Day Mile are passing the baton to new race directors Krista and Zaque DeHerrera, who are putting the finishing touches on the 14th annual running.

The Mother’s Day Mile returns at 1 p.m. Sunday, starting and finishing in the GMA parking lot on Blake Avenue, and covering a 1-mile loop course in-between. The event features separate wave starts for children ages 14 and under, adults under 40 and adults 40 and older.

There’s also a nontimed wave for walkers, strollers, families and anyone who wants to run a second mile.

And, in keeping with tradition, each participant receives a rose and a piece of homemade pie at the finish line. A large silent auction also serves as a major fundraiser for the Advocate Safehouse, which assists victims of domestic violence in the area.

“To me, it’s just such a family affair, and it brings back memories of our own boys growing up and running the race every year,” Reinisch said of their two grown sons, Chas and Marco Salmen.

Call it “just another Mother’s Day Mile-stone,” as Salmen suggested when the two were reflecting on their many years of involvement with the event following the Wednesday briefing session.

The DeHerreras own and operate Valley Events Inc. and have been involved with numerous events in the area such as Strawberry Days in Glenwood Springs and New Castle’s Burning Mountain Festival.

“We’re not doing this for anything other than the fun of it, though,” said Krista DeHerrera, who has been a participant in the Mother’s Day Mile since they moved to the area in 2005. “We’ve always done it as a family, so it’s close to our heart also.”

Julie Olson, executive director for the Advocate Safehouse Project, said the event nets about $20,000 each year for the organization.

“It’s our biggest single special event, that’s why it’s so important that it be well-organized,” Olson said.

More than 200 volunteers help put on the Mother’s Day Mile each year as well, such as Carol McCurry who has helped to grow the silent auction over the years from about a dozen baskets of items to more than 100 today.

Mari Brennan-Combs, who is the radiology supervisor at GMA, is the pie coordinator, organizing local bakers to produce hundreds of homemade pies for the event.

The original idea for the benefit race came from the former Aspen Downtown Mile in the 1990s, where the Salmen-Reinisch clan were regulars.

“We saw what a great event they had there, and we thought we could do the same here,” Reinisch said. “We posed it to the Advocate Safehouse board, and they thought it was a great idea.”

The inaugural event drew about 325 runners, and has grown to as many as 750 runners in some years.

“It always depends on the weather,” Reinisch said, noting that rain last year kept the number of participants to around 600. “It’s supposed to be nice this weekend, so maybe we’ll break another record.”

The Sunday forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 72, with just an 8 percent chance of rain.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.