Area runners compete in Glenwood Canyon Shuffle |

Area runners compete in Glenwood Canyon Shuffle

Mike Vidakovich

When Alabama native Meredith Armstrong moved to Glenwood Springs in 2012, she had never read a book in her entire life and her reading level was that of the average first-grader. It was that same year that Armstrong started in the Literacy Outreach program, which helps adults, and non-English speakers to read and learn the language.

Last year, at age 43, Armstrong read her first book in its entirety, and she is just getting started with the new skills that have opened up many horizons that at one time in her life seemed unthinkable.

“I am going to get my GED [diploma] one day. That piece of paper is going to be mine,” said Armstrong, who was gushing with enthusiasm. “I’m going to read every book in the library.”

The annual Glenwood Canyon Shuffle Half-Marathon and 5K Run is a benefit for the Literacy Outreach program that has, for many years, helped people like Armstrong begin a new life. Saturday’s races, amid the scenic fall colors in the canyon, drew an overflow crowd of an estimated 225 runners and walkers.

The top runner in the day’s longer race, the 13.1 mile half-marathon, was Wesley Toews, who bested the field with a time of 1 hour, 18 minutes and 1.0 second. Close behind Toews were Jeason Murphy with a time of 1:18:14, and local speedster Josh Hejtmanek of New Castle, who recorded a time of 1:20:29. The top female finisher in the half-marathon, and 12th place overall, was Mackennea Broyles, who came to the finish line at 1:34:58.

A couple of veterans of the local running circuit, Carbondale’s Brad Palmer and Candelario DeLuera of Rifle, made it the entire length of the Canyon in the half-marathon and enjoyed the beauty of the day.

“It was a beautiful day in the canyon,” said Palmer, 58. “I felt strong most of the way. I was just trying to chase Ron (Lund) and Candy (DeLuera).”

Bob Byram, who has lost close to 60 pounds since he started running three years ago, just missed his personal record time in the half-marathon, but was ecstatic with the fitness journey that running has taken him on.

“I was trying to get a [personal record] at sub 1:38:00,” said Byram. “I just missed it by 7 seconds, but what a wonderful day.”

In the day’s shorter 5K (3.1 miles) run, Amy Rollins topped all others in getting to the rest area at No Name. Her time was 20:13. Second place was 60-year old Robert Hintermeister, who finished with a very credible time of 21:01. Third place was William Luckett with a time of 21:31. Luckett just edged his older brother Lyle, who came in fourth at 21:42. Both Luckett boys are members of the Basalt High School cross country team. The Longhorn team used the Shuffle 5K as a training run on an off weekend.

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