Colt bolts, Rollins rolls to Turkey Day 5K wins in Glenwood
Magnificent Seven, Male and Female Finishers
Male: 1. Jeff Colt, 17 minutes, 52 seconds; 2. Gavin Harden, 18:02; 3. Wesley Toews, 18:06; 4. Ben Jones, 18:36; 5. Marco Salmen, 19:11; 6. Everett Olson, 19:33; 7. Bryce Risner, 20:32.
Female: 1. Amy Rollins, 21:36; 2. Erica Diemoz, 22:51; 3. Sophia Moon, 23:35; 4. Amy (Ackerman) Joyce, 23:58. Due to computer glitches, the rest of the top finishers in the female field was unavailable at press time.
Jeff Colt, who frantically rolled into the parking lot at the last minute to register, and the talented Amy Rollins of Carbondale were the male and female winners of the 31st running of the Turkey Day 5K at the Glenwood Springs Golf Course on Thanksgiving morning.
A sunny, near-record holiday gathering of 550 runners and walkers toed the line for the 10 a.m. start of the hilly and winding, cross-country-style run on the West Glenwood course that is known as “The Hill.”
With the inaugural winners of the event in 1986, Bob Willey and Linda Young, and many familiar faces having passed on the attendance at the popular Glenwood event to a new generation, many of the old-timers who showed up, looked around and saw the ghosts of years gone by, as well as the newcomers who made up the majority of the impressive throng at the starting line.
“I don’t recognize as many people anymore, but I sure am glad to see them all,” said Dr. Gary Hollenbaugh, who is one of the race’s shining beacons that has been there since the very beginning, since short shorts were in style, and the Bee Gees were still churning out hits on the top 40 list.
Colt’s time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds bested Glenwood Springs High School cross country standout Gavin Harden, who came to the finish at 18:02. Harden knew when he looked around at the race’s start that there would be some formidable competition in the stable just itching to kick up their heels.
”I knew coming in there would be some very fast dudes in this one,” said Harden.
Wesley Toews of New Castle was third overall in the race at 18:06.
Amy (Lund) Rollins of Carbondale, who has been attending the Turkey Day 5K since she was 12 years old, blazed the course in 21:36 and claimed the women’s division crown for the first time.
“This race has always been a big Thanksgiving tradition for my family,” Rollins said. “We have been coming here for what seems like forever.”
Rollins is now in her fifth season assisting her father, Ron Lund, with the Basalt High School cross country team.
Erica Diemoz, a senior at Glenwood High School, was second in the female grouping at 22:51, and Sophia Moon, a cross country runner for the Basalt Longhorns, finished third with a time of 23:35.
The Turkey Day 5K served as a benefit for the Glenwood Springs High School swim and cross country teams. Race director Steve Vanderhoof, who coaches both the boys and girls swim teams at Glenwood High, was in a festive holiday mood following the event and pleased at the blue skies and warm November temps.
“A very nice day. Things went well. I appreciate everyone coming out and supporting this great race,” said Vanderhoof.
Vanderhoof gave kudos to all the volunteers that made the Turkey Day 5k possible, especially turkey cookers extraordinaire Doug Meyers and Mikey Moser for their outstanding job in the outdoor kitchen.
The final area running event of 2017 will be the Jingle Bell 5K Run on Sunday, Dec. 17, at Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale.