Banzai 5K benefits local animal shelters

Mike Vidakovich

If you’re a runner, hiker, mountain wanderer, or you just like nothing better than a scenic stroll with friends on a late fall morning, then the 10th annual Banzai Trail 5K Run/Walk is the place for you to be on Saturday, November 4.

The challenging course is a half and half mixture of roads and single track trails in West Glenwood, with the start and finish line located near the base of Storm King Mountain on Donegan Road. The kind folks of Ami’s Acres Campground and the Sonlight Four Square Church help make this race a reality each year by allowing participants to stomp around and gawk on their beautiful acreage. Craig and Susie Amichaux even decorate the trail on an annual basis with spooky relics, in keeping with the traditional Halloween theme of the event. This year, Pastor Aaron Masimer has indicated he may even run the hilly trek in representation of the congregation at his Sonlight Church.

The Banzai Trail 5K is a labor of love for the organizers of the race, as all the proceeds are sent off to local animal shelters. Colorado Animal Rescue in Glenwood, the Rifle Animal Shelter, Valley Dog Rescue in Carbondale, Lucky Day Animal Rescue in Aspen, and the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation in Silt share in the money that is collected at the Banzai Trail Run.

If you are looking to get a lot of goodies such as a multi-colored T-shirt, a commemorative mug to slurp hot cocoa, or a bag filled with lip balm, coupons, and bug spray, then this may not be the race for you. Every bit of the $15 entry fee goes directly toward helping the animals in need in our valley. Not a penny is wasted on swag.

What you will get is a run or an invigorating hike on a beautiful course with a lot of familiar faces from the local running circuit, and there will be a cold one (or two), some chips, and maybe a day-old doughnut waiting for you at the finish line. Congratulatory hugs from the finish line crew are also in abundance at this one.

There really is no pre-registration for the event; just mark November 4 on your calendar, and show up with a friend to register on race morning between 9 and 9:50 a.m. The race will start at 10 a.m. sharp on Donegan Road, just a block to the west of the Two Rivers Community School. Several participants from past years have felt the season’s spirit and dressed appropriately in Halloween attire. This may scare you silly and amuse you to tears all at the same time.

As is the case every year, the run will go on as planned regardless of rain, snow, or shine. In the famous words of Bob Julich Sr., “You’re in Colorado. This is a trail run. If you can’t handle it, go bowling!”

This year’s race is dedicated to the memories and wonderful running lives of Bob Willey and Paul Driskill.

For further information, please call 970-945-0979. See you on the 4th.

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