A Thanksgiving bargain | PostIndependent.com

A Thanksgiving bargain

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

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Turkey Day 5K is quite a bargain.

For the low price of $5, you gain entry into one of the largest, most competitive and diverse race fields the Western Slope has to offer.

At the starting line, you can rub elbows with several of the Valley’s elite runners on one side and a group of eager school children on the other.

You can then watch them all gallop – at varying speeds – along the picturesque, back-and-forth route on the links at Glenwood Springs Golf Club.

There is no need to be in a hurry, unless you’re playing beat the clock. Many folks are content with just jogging, walking and chatting away as they look forward to the post-race feast of food and fellowship that is every bit as big as the race itself.

“The Turkey Day 5K is an odyssey of spirit and community,” said Glenwood’s Jack Green, who has been at every race since its inception in 1986. “It’s an event where the stress and concerns of the Valley stops and we all take time to run together, which gives us a sense of belonging.”

Former Glenwood Demon cross country and track standout Kellen Fockler, who is now running at Metro State College in Denver, had his own take on what the race has become.

“It’s pretty much the Bolder Boulder of the Western Slope,” Fockler said.

Such a deal.

Some 425 runners and walkers made the Thanksgiving pilgrimage to the 23rd annual Turkey Day 5K on Thursday morning, with Ryan Kent, of Yorktown, Va., and Basalt’s Megan Lund proving to be the two fastest pilgrims.

Kent recorded a time of 16 minutes, 9 seconds, claiming a narrow victory over Chris Werner, who crossed the finish line just seconds later, in 16:12.

Aspen’s Alex Tiernan was the third male overall at 16:46. Local running legend Bernie Boettcher and Glenwood Springs High School cross country and track stalwart Ryan Buchanan came to the line in fourth and fifth place, respectively, with times of 17:05 and 17:13.

Basalt’s Megan Lund won her sixth Turkey Day title with a course record time of 18:02. Lund was pushed hard by Glenwood Springs Middle School teacher Katie Bagley, who took second in the ladies division with a time of 18:10.

“This race is always a family tradition,” Lund said. “Setting a course record was exciting. It was good to have some competition. She [Bagley] didn’t make it easy for me.”

Third place in the women’s race, and 25th place overall, went to Myriah Blair, who finished in 20 minutes – even on the hilly course.

Another year, and another batch of good memories were made at the Turkey Day 5K.

Following the race, as runners and revelers started to make their way home, Jim Richmond, who directs the race along with Karen Greenwood, reflected on how the race has evolved to this point from its inaugural, 17-participant showing in 1986.

“Before the race started, I was warming up above the starting area with my friend Fred Kirschbaum,” Richmond said. “We looked down at all the people gathered at the start and I said to him, ‘Can you believe this all began with just 17 people?'”

The race was a benefit for the Carbondale Community School.

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