44 runners/walkers turn out for Lions Club July 4th Firecracker 4K Sunday morning | PostIndependent.com

44 runners/walkers turn out for Lions Club July 4th Firecracker 4K Sunday morning

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Anne Swanson and Rick Chavez battle it out near the finish of Sunday’s FireKracker 4K foot race at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.
Mike Vidakovich photo

With virtual races being a thing of the past — at least for the time being — real, live runners and walkers lined up on Sunday morning at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood for the annual FireKracker 4K Run, sponsored by the Glenwood Springs Lions Club.

The 4-kilometer (2.5) mile distance is a bit out of the norm of the popular 5K and 10K formats that make up the majority of citizen races in the area, but event directors Darrell Stanley and Kathy Wren created the FireKracker in order to give local fitness buffs a chance to participate in a run that is a bit out of the ordinary.

“We just thought the distance would be something unique to the area, something a little different from the usual offerings,” Stanley said. “Also, we always have the race on the Fourth of July, so we thought the date and the distance lined up pretty well, too.”

The entirety of the race is run on the Rio Grande Trail, with the start and finish line located just about a pitching wedge south of the Two Rivers Park gazebo. The turn around is a short jaunt past Glenwood Springs High School, where runners make an about face and head north, retracing their steps on a downhill journey back to the park, keeping a close eye on who is ahead of them and who may be creeping up on the flank.

Making the fastest tracks on America’s birthday morning was Watkins Fulk-Gray, who put a sizeable gap between himself and the rest of the field. Gray was followed in order by Glenwood High School freshman Benny Swanson, local ultra-running specialist Brain Passenti, Glenwood High School senior Reid Swanson, and Glenwood’s Scott Grosscup.

Glenwood Springs High School math teacher Anne Swanson outpaced the entire women’s field for the race victory. Swanson also placed sixth overall.

The Glenwood Lions Club uses FireKracker 4K race proceeds to help provide eyeglasses and eye examinations for children and adults in the Roaring Fork Valley and scholarships for graduating area high school seniors.

There were 44 total runners and walkers at Sunday’s race.

Next up on the local footrace calendar is the New Castle Hogback Hustle 5K next Saturday, July 10. Race start time is 8 a.m. in front of the New Castle City Market. Registration begins in the same area at 7 a.m. Contact the New Castle Recreation Department for further details.

Top 15 FireKracker 4K finishers

*Denotes female: 1. Watkins Fulk-Gray; 2. Benny Swanson; 3. Brian Passenti; 4. Reid Swanson; 5. Scott Grosscup; 6. Anne Swanson*; 7. Rick Chavez; 8. Russel Bollig; 9. Calvin Swanson; 10. Jonah Wells; 11. Brad Palmer; 12. Johnny Utah; 13. Robin Scher; 14. Ryan Grosscup; 15. Ruben Sanabria.

(Accurate finish times were not available immediately following the completion of the race due to a computer malfunction.)

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