Rifle boys run through Nashville, Tenn.
RIFLE, Colorado ” There once was a story about a man named Russell George, who lived in a town called Rifle. He’s fairly well known in those parts, since his public service career took him to the highest position in the Colorado House of Representatives. George is now the man in charge of Colorado’s highway system, as director of the Department of Transportation. He still lives in Rifle with his wife, Neal, where they raised four sons.
But this story is about those four sons, who all graduated from Rifle High School and now live across the West.
Russell, Jr., or Rusty, is the oldest, then Charlie, then Tommy, then Andy.
Rusty, 29, still lives in Rifle and is a teacher at his alma -mater. The other three, Charlie, 27, resides in San Diego, Calif.; Tommy, 25, lives in Tucson, Ariz., and the youngest, Andy, 22, calls San Francisco home.
“We’re kind of all spread out,” Rusty said.
That makes it hard for them to see each other as frequently as they’d like. So Rusty thought it would be nice to spend some quality time with his brothers. His idea? Running a marathon.
“I think Russ (Jr.) was the instigator,” said Russell George, Sr. “He and Tommy did another half-marathon earlier in the year. So I think he talked the rest of them into doing it.”
Rusty doesn’t deny the accusation. In fact, he freely and happily admits it.
“We’d like to do something like this every year,” Rusty said. “I don’t know that it will be another marathon each year, but this was the first time we’ve had the opportunity to get together and do something like this.”
Rusty, Charlie, Tommy and Andy all met up in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, April 24 to run the 9th Annual Country Music Marathon on April 26. Starting at Centennial Park, the event took the boys through the Country Music Mecca in a way they had seen few cities before. Fitting for their first trip to Nashville, but even more fitting was the fact it was also each boy’s first marathon.
“It’s not the most typical thing to do,” Rusty admitted. “We all thought that we would like to do a full marathon and none of us had been to Nashville before and we had all wanted to go. So it was just one of those things.”
Rusty said he and his three brothers all finished the race and achieved their respective personal goals.
“It was an amazing experience and I would tell anyone who wants to run a marathon, if you want to do it, I mean, if you really want to do it, then you can run a marathon,” he said. “It’s not about ability. It’s about determination.”
None of the brothers are “true” runners either, according to Rusty, and three of them still have sore right feet. But the pain will always remind them of the first, and perhaps, last marathon they all ran together.
“It’s one of those things that we can say we’ve done,” Rusty said. “We can say we’ve all run a marathon.”
Maybe next year’s trip will be deep sea fishing in Alaska. Maybe.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.