Paul Driskill Memorial 5K one of several races coming up in June |

Paul Driskill Memorial 5K one of several races coming up in June

Mike Vidakovich
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Mike Vidakovich

I remember teaching fourth grade with Paul Driskill way back in the late 1980s at Glenwood Springs Elementary.

Each school day, Paul would come dressed in his white collared shirt, black slacks, sport coat and matching black shoes. Some days, the socks were each a different color, but without asking him why, I would attribute this to some kind of subliminal message he was sending in regards to nonconformity, or maybe his sock drawer was just in a dimly lit area of the room.

The exception to this dress code came about once every three or four months, when the black loafers would be replaced with a brand spanking shiny new pair of Tiger (now Asics) running shoes. Paul would wear his new wheels around school for a few days, breaking them in, before enlisting them to duty on his nightly 13-mile runs.

Driskill was as committed to the sport of running as anyone I’ve ever come across. He once had a streak of over 14 years of not missing a single day on the roads.

Paul passed away on Christmas Eve of 2010. The race to celebrate his life – the Paul Driskill Memorial 5K – will be held for the second time on the grounds of Glenwood Elementary, where Driskill taught for 30 years.

The race is Saturday, June 9, with a starting time of 9 a.m. It’s being organized by Paul’s granddaughter Rebecca Fuller.

Last year, the race drew 46 runners. Let’s break that record this year.

• On June 2, there is a race at the Stoney Ridge Ball Field in Silt which benefits the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation. The Schneegas Foundation helps to rehabilitate injured and orphaned animals before returning them to nature. Nanci Limbach does a wonderful job running the sanctuary and helping the animals. Sandy Burns does an equally impressive job in organizing the race each year.

It’s the Run For Their Lives 5k, and the starting gun will fire at 8:30 a.m.

• Also on June 2 is the Mountain to Valley 10-mile and four-mile runs. A fast, mostly downhill course which starts at the intersection of Dry Park and Thompson Creek Road and finishes at the Sopris soccer fields, is guaranteed to provide runners with some fast times.

The races benefit the Mountain Valley Developmental Services and the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics. The start times are 8 a.m. for the 10-mile race and 8:15 a.m. for the four-miler. There is also a Smilin’ Sam half-mile fun run for kids that will take place at approximately 10:30 a.m. This one even has a free live concert following the running, so pack your dancin’ shoes, too.

• The popular Strawberry Shortcut 5K and 10K races will make their return on Father’s Day, June 17, as part of the annual Strawberry Days celebration. Most local runners like to tee it up at this one.

So many races, so little time to get ready!

With many local athletes signing to continue their sporting careers at various colleges, I wanted to make mention of a young man who spent some of his youth in Glenwood Springs before the family relocated to Texas.

Jordan Chavez, the grandson of legendary Glenwood basketball coach Bob Chavez, has signed to run cross country and track at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

Courted by several Division I colleges, including Clemson and Tulsa, Chavez helped lead the nation’s No. 2-ranked cross country team, Dallas Southlake Carroll, to a Texas state championship and a berth in the Nike national meet, where they finished second to Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey.

The entire Southlake Carroll team will make their annual pilgrimage to Glenwood to train at altitude the end of June this summer.

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

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