One last mile for Nancy: Friends, community turn out to remember Reinisch
With John Lennon’s classic “Imagine” ringing out over the loudspeakers, Nancy Reinisch’s husband, Paul Salmen, and her sons, Chas and Marco Salmen, didn’t have to imagine all the people.
Approximately 500 community members surrounded the family as they logged one more mile for Nancy Sunday during the return of the Mother’s Day Mile in Glenwood Springs.
“This is a really uplifting day for me, to see so much energy out of people here,” Marco Salmen said. “There have been a few sad days, but this is not one of them.”
With a blue-sky backdrop, family, friends and community members recounted memories and reconnected over conversation about Nancy and all she did in her life. Reinisch, a longtime Glenwood Springs resident and avid runner, died this past February after a second battle with breast cancer.
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“I think Nancy would be proud. She might even have liked the fact we are at the high school,” said Julie Olson, executive director of Advocate Safehouse Project, the main beneficiary of the Mother’s Day Mile for all those years.
“Nancy would be honored that this many people showed up today, and just to have fun and honor moms,” she said.
Board member Jacque McMillan said Paul Salmen and his family got in touch with Advocate Safehouse Project and asked if they could do Mother’s Day Mile one more time.
“We just wanted to make it a really special day for her. She touched so many lives in the valley,” McMillan said.
With three different heats, from serious runners in heat one to everyday walkers in the final heat of the day, there was an event for everyone to enjoy.
“It just means a lot to me, and feels so good that something she started gets people moving,” Marco added. “So proud of my mom. I was always really proud of her.”
Marco and his brother, Chas, got the event started with an electrifying race against friend and Glenwood Springs resident, and former GSHS track teammate, Gus Lundin, in the fast heat.
After the three exchanged the lead multiple times during the four laps, it came down to the finish as both Marco and Lundin lunged for the line, simultaneously stopping the clock at just over 5 minutes, with Chas just footsteps behind.
Added Marco, “This was a really fun day for me. I haven’t run on this track in many years, and to be running with my good buddies and brother — coming around the home stretch to a community of people cheering you on, on a beautiful day — honestly it doesn’t get much better than that.
“We are going to remember this one for a long time.”
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“You have all demonstrated through your grit, perseverance and sheer determination to have weathered the storms that have come your way. And, goodness knows you have weathered the most unusual of storms to get to this very day…” — Yampah Mountain High School commencement speaker Diana Andrews