25th annual Strawberry Shortcut kicks off | PostIndependent.com

25th annual Strawberry Shortcut kicks off

The wait is over. All that remains for Sunday’s 25th annual Strawberry Shortcut to get started is the bleat of the starter’s horn.

And when the device sounds, close to 1,000 runners will be toeing the starting line at Centennial Park in downtown Glenwood Springs for the 10-kilometer, 5K or fun runs.

The event was originally scheduled for June 16, but was postponed due to safety concerns stemming from the Coal Seam Fire.

Despite the two-week delay, race director Jim Yellico, said there were only 20 cancellations.

This year, along with benefiting the Special Olympics, the Strawberry Shortcut will also direct funds toward the ongoing relief effort to assist victims of the Coal Seam Fire.

And Yellico anticipates another well-rounded field of runners, ranging from elite to first-timers.

Late registrations will be accepted until 6 a.m. today. Cost is $23 for the citizen 5K, 10K and fun runs. The cost is $27 to run in both the 5K and 10K. A special $50 family entry rate is also available. Runners under 13 or over 60 receive a $5 discount.

A new feature to this year’s 10K race is the Top Flight division. Those runners start 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Runners in the Top Flight division include last year’s Men’s 10K winner Phil Castillo and runner-up Teddy Mitchell. Mitchell also won the 2001 Men’s 5K race. Both are members of the U.S. Army athletic team.

Alison Holinka will be one of the featured runners in the Top Flight women’s 10K.

Holinka was a four-year member of the women’s cross-country and track teams at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.

She was a participant in the 2001 World Half-Marathon and a second alternate for the 2001 World University Games Half-Marathon.

Prize money for the Top Flight runners in each division is $400 for first place, $250 for second and $150 for third. The overall winners of the men’s and women’s citizen’s 5K and 10K races receive $150, while the best finishers over 40 receive $100. Youth competitors under 19 earn a $50 savings bond for first place.

The finish venue will be along the 7th Street Esplanade, under the Grand Avenue Bridge.

Both 10K and 5K runners will proceed north over the Grand Avenue Bridge, turning right, then left around the Hotel Colorado.

Behind the hotel, the route courses through North Glenwood, breaking out and crossing the bridge over Interstate 70.

The 5K and 10K courses split with the 5K course heading into Two Rivers Park and the 10K course continuing out Devereux Road to West Glenwood.

The 5K course cuts through Two Rivers Park and crosses the Colorado River on the pedestrian bridge.

Runners continue to 7th Street, where they head east toward the recently completed Garfield County Jail and the finishing loop.

From 7th Street, runners turn south on Colorado Avenue, go up and around the courthouse and turn west on 8th Street, going to Pitkin Avenue.

From there they turn south down Pitkin before turning back toward Colorado near Glenwood Springs High School.

Runners will then head down Colorado Avenue, running north toward the finish line on 7th Street.

The 10K on Sunday begins at 7 a.m. with the 5K following at 8:15 a.m.

The fun run/walk wraps up the festivities at 9:30 a.m. The course is a mile in length, starting and ending under the Grand Avenue Bridge.

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