Vidakovich column: Get ready for a pair of running adventures, both for good causes |

Vidakovich column: Get ready for a pair of running adventures, both for good causes

Mike Vidakovich
Capt. Will "Pyro" DuBois was unaware his F-16 was descending until the final second before impact in a fatal crash last December, according to a report released by the Air Force.
U.S. Air Force

Push It Up for Pyro

This coming Saturday, Aug. 13, the annual Pyro’s Push it Up Trail Run & Walk will be held on the West Elk Trail north of New Castle. The race is run each year at this time in honor of former New Castle resident and U.S. Air Force Capt. William “Pyro” DuBois, who passed away while defending our country when his F-16 crashed in the Middle East on Dec. 1, 2014.

There are three distances on the Pyro’s menu for runners and walkers to choose from. The easiest, and the most beginner friendly, is the 3.5- kilometer family event that takes place primarily on an undulating jeep road.

Next up is the more challenging 7.7K (roughly 5 miles), which features jeep roads and single track trails. Appealing to the more hard core mountain trail runners is the 13K (8 miles) “Double Down” on rugged and steep terrain that will challenge even the fittest of human mountain goats.

Will DuBois was born on Aug. 14, 1984, and the former senior class president of Rifle High School always enjoyed celebrating his birthday in the area of the Flat Tops where the races will take place. His mother, Donna DuBois, said there was no place her son preferred more than to be up in the beauty and serenity of the mountains with his family on his birthday, hence the reason for the location and the date of the trail races.

“Family held the highest priority in his life,” said Donna. “He made everyone around him better. I was a better person having him as my son.”

Capt. DuBois had a motto that he lived by, “Moderation is for Cowards.” His father, Ham DuBois, echoes those sentiments when he talks about his son.

“He was the best man I ever knew. He lived life to the fullest. He lost his life being a hero.”

Will graduated from the University of Colorado aerospace engineering program with honors. Proceeds from the Pyro’s Trail Races will go to help aspiring Air Force ROTC cadets fulfill their goal of becoming an aviator through the Pyro’s Wings Scholarship Fund.

The cost for any of the three races is $35, and you can register by visiting the website at You can also register on race morning. If you are not able to make it to the race in person on Saturday, you can run virtually from anywhere in the world by registering at the race website.

Ham Dubois will get all three races going with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Please plan on staying for the big barbecue and awards that follow the conclusion of the races.

You won’t find a more beautiful spot to spend a morning getting some exercise and hanging out with friends from our communities.

Dog Days of August

The following Saturday, on Aug. 20, there is another race that is near and dear to my heart in Glenwood Springs at Two Rivers Park.

The annual Dog Day 5K will be run on an out and back course on the Rio Grande Trail, and all proceeds will go to help support the wonderful animals and people at Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE).

I have three cats, and two of them came from local shelters, with the third, “Houdini,” appearing and disappearing from my back door as a little kitten, until I finally got her inside and convinced her to stay. That was about 10 years ago.

On Aug. 5, I celebrated the 12th anniversary of going down to the Rifle Animal Shelter to pick up my three-legged cat Charlotte. We have been the best of friends since day one, and I can’t imagine life without her.

I have always had a soft spot for animals, so this race has been one that I mark on my calendar each year. Hopefully the folks from CARE will welcome a big crowd on Aug. 20 to help their efforts in providing homes for so many animals in the valley.

You can register by visiting the CARE website or on race morning beginning at 8 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m. near the gazebo at Two Rivers Park.

Glenwood Springs native Mike Vidakovich is a freelance sports writer, teacher and youth sports coach. His column appears on occasion in the Post Independent and at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.