Double-double duo takes Strawberry Shortcut titles | PostIndependent.com

Double-double duo takes Strawberry Shortcut titles

Much-needed precipitation and cool temperatures Sunday morning were kind to a pair of runners who have made a name for themselves at the 41st Annual Strawberry Shortcut 10K and 5K race in Glenwood Springs.

Adam Rich, 37, of Colorado Springs, and Tara Richardson, 26, who moved to Glenwood Springs on Strawberry Days weekend last year, claimed the respective male and female 10K titles, and both turned right around to win the 5K, as well.

Rich, who has doubled up to run both races five years in a row, also won dual events in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He was looking to bounce back after placing third in the 10K and second in the 5K last year.

"The humidity was kind of tough, but the cooler temperature was nice," said Rich, who built big leads early in both races and cruised to relatively easy wins.

Rich crossed the 10K finish line in 32 minutes and 23 seconds, followed by Jeason Murphy, 38, of Carbondale, in second with a time of 35:27, and Henry Barth, 17, of Glenwood Springs in third (36:28).

After the longer of the two races, Rich said he just kept moving and staying loose until the start of the 5K, just a short 45 minutes later. After working through some stomach issues, he said his usual strategy of going out hard paid off.

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"My goal was to win the 10k and the 5K again today," Rich said. "At 37, I have to admit it's getting a little bit harder to recover."

A middle hamstring injury has dogged him some this season. Still, Rich has won 13 of the 15 races he run so far this year.

Murphy also claimed second in the 5K (17:56), followed by Richardson in third overall (18:46) and the third-place male finisher, 11-year-old Benjamin Swanson (19:03).

Richardson, who doubled up to win both races last year, said she was pleased to run her 5K at a faster pace than her 10K, and to get the dual win again. She won the 10K women's title in 38 minutes, 40 seconds, and the 5K race in 18:46.

"It's good weather, and that kept me cool," she said. "I run that route every day, so it's always nice to just be able to come out into my back yard."

Richardson, who works in the cardiac rehab unit at Valley View Hospital, has been training for longer mountain races this season, and has claimed wins at the Fruita Half Marathon trail run and the Collegiate Peaks 40K.

Finishing behind Richardson among the women in the 10K were Sierra Bower, 14, of Basalt, with a time of 44:14, wit Anne Swanson, 45, taking third in 44:25. In the 5K race, Ella Johnson, 13, was second in 21:15, and Jessica Pooler, 30, was third in 21:40.

PASSING THE BATON

The 41st edition of the popular foot race marked the end of an era, as longtime race directors Kevin and Joy White will be stepping down after 10 years. Mike Kishimoto, a regular volunteer at the event, will be taking over the race directorship.

This year's Strawberry Shortcut T-shirt was black, which carries with it a lot of symbolism, Kevin White said.

For one, his usual wardrobe is black, so it marks the last year of his family taking lead in directing the race. Second, the color serves as a memorial to the many members of the local running community who have died during the past decade, including Bob Wiley and just this past year, Maureen Nuckols, who was a regular at the event.

"I just thought it would be appropriate to honor all of those folks who have been such a big part of the Strawberry Shortcut," he said.

Also, his father-in-law, Eric Rasmussen, who traveled from Belize most years to help with the event, died in May.

"He was my right-hand man, and was always willing to do anything we needed to make the race happen," White said.

As for giving up the race directing, "we have four daughters, and the youngest is 3, so we're just busy all the time.

"We've put everything we had towards the race for a decade, so it's time for somebody else to put their passion into it and lift it up to the next level."

41st Strawberry shortcut top finishers

10K men

1. Adam Rich, 32:23

2. Jeason Murphy, 35:27

3. Henry Barth, 36:24

4. Gavin Harden, 36:27

5. Enrique Palomares, 41:49

10K women

1. Tara Richardson, 38:40

2. Sierra Bower, 44:14

3. Anne Swanson, 44:25

4. Natasha Kotz, 46:07

5. Sandra Hyra, 48:11

5K men

1. Adam Rich, 16:17

2. Jeason Murphy, 17:56

3. Benjamin Swanson, 19:03

4. Ian Zidrardson, 19:12

5. Pete Fowler, 20:03

5K women

1. Tara Richardson, 18:46

2. Ella Johnson, 21:18

3. Jessica Pooler, 21:43

4. Sophia Connerton-Nevin, 22:18

5. Sophia Vigil, 23:35

*Full race results at halsports.net