Vidakovich column: Running races on the horizon

Mike Vidakovich
Mike Vidakovich.

With all of the upcoming fitness events dotting the fall calendar in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys, it’s not anywhere near the time to start thinking about tossing those running, walking and hiking shoes into the back of the closet.

Along with getting some exercise during the best time of year to be outside in western Colorado, your participation in any of these five kilometer runs (or walks) will go a long way toward helping local charitable organizations benefit people and animals in need.

This coming Saturday, Sept. 23, there are two destinations hosting fundraisers. The second annual Strides for Giving 5k Run/Walk will take place at Centennial Park in Rifle. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the race starting time slated for 10am. Registration cost is $40 and can be completed online at The Strides for Giving 5k raises funds to help provide meals during the holiday season for families in need from New Castle to Parachute.

Also on Sept. 23, Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel will be hosting the Vitality 5k. Raising money for Parkinson Disease awareness and treatment is the focus of this event. There is no registration fee. A donation of your choice will gladly and gratefully be accepted. For more information, go to

Running for — not from — the animals at Silt’s Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation will be the order of the day on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Schneegas Wildlife Foundation has been the home for the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned creatures of the wild for almost five decades. The Run for Their Lives 5k begins and ends at the Stoney Ridge Ball Field in Silt. For this race, $25 will get you registered starting at 8 a.m., with the race set to begin at 9 a.m. To guarantee a t-shirt, you must register by Oct. 1 at the website, or by calling Nanci Limbach at 970-896-6895. As well as helping our four-legged friends, the Foundation also provides educational programs for schools, clubs and businesses.

On Sunday, Oct. 29, Glenwood’s second oldest race, the Sequoia Glen 5k will make its 33rd appearance on the local racing circuit. Second only to the Strawberry Shortcut in tenure, the $20 entry fee for Sequoia Glen will go to several local animal shelters, including CARE, the Journey Home Shelter in Rifle, Lucky Day Animal Rescue in Aspen, and the remarkable Ursula at the Valley Dog Rescue in Carbondale. For Sequoia Glen, there is race day only registration that will begin at 9 a.m. at the start line just west of the Two Rivers Community School in west Glenwood. The out and back run (more like up and down) will begin at 10 a.m. sharp, taking runners and walkers on a scenic tour up Mitchell Creek Road and above the Glenwood Fish Hatchery before turning around and whistling back down the mountain. Halloween attire is highly encouraged, but not mandatory.

Rumor has it that the Glenwood Turkey Trot will be back on Thanksgiving Day at the Glenwood Community Center. As many of you already know, there are also opportunities on Thanksgiving Day to run off a few calories before the big feast in other towns around the area. Basalt, Carbondale, and Rifle will host 5k runs that day as well as the one in Glenwood. Get in touch with Tiffany Lindenberg at the community center for more information on the GS Turkey Trot.

Finally, there’s a quaint little run that takes place the day after Thanksgiving each year at Anytime Fitness just south of Glenwood off Colorado Highway 82. The Burn the Turkey 5k is an out and back course on the Rio Grande Trail, and the folks at Anytime Fitness do a great job of putting things together. In the past, there has been no entry fee, just a donation of non-perishable food of your choice. A nice t-shirt, a few taco certificates, and some good company are the reward for getting up from the couch the day after Turkey Day and getting some much needed exercise.

If you haven’t already, get off your keister right now and start training, there are a lot of great causes you could help out by showing up at some of these events. The number one cause you can benefit is yourself. It’s never too early, or late, to start getting in shape. Now is the time.

Get moving, and see you on the roads and trails.

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.