Race director’s come a long way with Glenwood Springs’ Strawberry Shortcut
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – For the past 10 years, Jim Yellico has been organizing the Strawberry Shortcut.
But this year, as participants run the 32nd year of the Glenwood Springs race, which benefits Colorado Special Olympics, it will be Yellico’s last.
“I’ve enjoyed it and all the people,” Yellico said. “I’ve enjoyed being a part of something that is bigger than myself and hearing the stories from people who’ve been involved in it for years.”
He is passing the torch to a good friend and fellow Glenwood native, Kevin White.
White grew up in Glenwood Springs, where running the Strawberry Shortcut was a yearly event.
“I have a little collection of first and second place trophies for my age groups when I ran in the race,” White said.
White knows that Yellico’s shoes will be a loose fit at first, but he hopes to grow into them as the time passes.
White moved to Oregon about six years ago and just returned last year. He said that he ran into Yellico, who asked if he wanted to volunteer to help out with the race. White agreed.
However, it was only a short time later that White received a phone call from Yellico asking if he would want to help co-organize this year’s race.
“He said he had a question for me asking to take over the race next year,” White said. “It’s a huge honor that he called me.”
But it’s the right move for the race, according to Yellico.
Yellico said that he was leaving for a couple of reasons; the first one being that when he took charge of the race he only had one kid and now has four, which requires more of his time. Secondly, he said he doesn’t have the energy that the race needs anymore. He also said that his father, Gene Yellico, who recently passed away, was a huge help over the year.
“A lot has changed,” he said. “My energy level toward the race has gone down, and the race needs that energy. I looked for a while and Kevin is a perfect fit.”
White said that it’s going to be a challenge that he is looking forward to.
For this Sunday’s event, White has gotten the course certified through the United States Track and Field Association. Once certified, any records made on the course are valid.
But it’s the years of work and dedication that White feels the community should recognize Yellico for.
“It’s important to recognize Jim for everything he’s done,” White said. “I want the public to know that he is an amazing guy, and he did a great job.”
So this weekend, when you are out visiting with community members at the annual hometown race, be sure to say thank you to Yellico for all he’s done.
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