Silt’s Boettcher takes first at Grand River Gallop 5K

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – On the average day, Bernie Boettcher can get from the starting line of a race and back to the finish much quicker than it will take you to get waited on at the local postal window.

Even though he didn’t have to brave rain or sleet, or the dark of night, Boettcher’s performance at Saturday’s Grand River Gallop 5K in Rifle proved to be no exception to the rule.

Boettcher galloped to the finish line at the Grand River Medical Center in a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds to add yet another local race victory to his growing collection. It was no walk in the park, though, as Josh Hejtmanek of New Castle gave Boettcher a spirited chase throughout.

“I was really running for my life today,” said Silt’s Boettcher. “Josh was trying hard to catch me and I thought he was going to.”

Hejtmanek’s runner-up time was 17:42.

Third place overall, and winner of the men’s 40-49 age division, was Glenwood’s Larry Thrun, who carded a 20:14. Rifle’s Candelario DeLuera, winner of the 50-59 category, was right behind Thrun with a time of 20:43.

Running a 24:42, the ageless Bob Willey of Glenwood recorded a top-20 overall finish and won the 60-69 male grouping.

A host of competitive ladies lined the start on a warm spring morning that was tailor made for running.

Marie Marquez of New Castle won out over the rest of the women’s field with a time of 22:24. Misty Landoll of Glenwood, who was doing her first race of the year, was close behind Marquez coming to the line at 22:30.

“I felt pretty good for the first race of the season. I usually do just a few races, but this year I’m going to try and do as many as I can,” said Landoll.

Silt’s Shiree Duncan was third among the ladies at 22:45.

Seventy-two runners and 30 walkers took part in the 11th annual Gallop, which is a benefit for the Meals on Wheels program of Western Colorado.

The next race in the Colorado River Valley Charity Race Series is the Titan Trot in Silt on Saturday, May 1.

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