Glenwood Springs’ Paul Driskill steals MDM spotlight
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – On a day ruled by mothers, a great-grandfather stole the show.Paul Driskill had run all eight Mother’s Day Miles, and he wasn’t about to let 2008’s Glenwood Medical Associates-sponsored event be any different.Crossing the finish line at GMA after shuffling his way through a mile’s worth of Glenwood Springs streets on Sunday, a large Mother’s Day Mile crowd erupted into a huge ovation. It was a fitting tribute to the Roaring Fork Valley’s iconic runner, who eight months ago nearly died in the midst of a 16-mile run after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.Countless hours of rehabilitation later and the 70-year-old Driskill is back where he belongs, tearing up the local racing scene. This is his first race since he made a cane-aided appearance at last November’s Turkey Day 5K in Glenwood.Driskill’s wife, Jeannie, granddaughter Rebecca Cossins and her daughter, Kayla, accompanied Driskill to Sunday’s race. Count young Kayla among those not shocked to see Driskill back at it so soon after an accident that sent him to the intensive care unit for four days.”He’s awesome,” she said. “I didn’t doubt him for a second.”Driskill said he’s worked his way up to running four miles a day. Occasionally, he’ll get eight in.”It’s beyond belief,” he said.While some may have dropped running after a life-threatening accident, Driskill loves running far too much to stay away from it.”It’s just what I’ve always done,” he said. “I’ve done it all my life.”
“He’s just like that,” said Rebecca, referring to her grandfather’s trademark stubbornness.”He really is one of the best models of running and fitness in this area,” said Marco Salmen, a former Glenwood Springs High School and Duke University runner who was the Sunday’s overall winner with a time of 4 minutes, 50.28 seconds. “It’s incredibly inspiring.”While Driskill’s may have been the most harrowing, there were feel-good stories across the board at the Mother’s Day Mile, which drew some 600 runners and walkers spread across several age-grouped waves.Runners and walkers traversed the course and then retreated to the GMA parking lot, where they could feast on pie, and peruse and bid on silent auction items. And all finishers received a rose upon completion of the race.
“Oh, it was awesome,” said race organizer Nancy Reinisch. “It can’t be any better. You get to exercise, shop and you get to be philanthropic.”The philanthropic part came in two forms.Funds raised from entry fees benefit the Advocate Safehouse Project, a shelter that provides assistance to victims of survivors of rape and sexual assault.A new wrinkle in this year’s Mother’s Day Mile was a partnership with the Imani Workshop, a Kenya-based group that takes HIV-positive women off the street, gives them medicine and teaches them a skill. MDM top-three age-group finishers received crafts handmade by these African women. Men took home beaded paper bowls, and women were given necklaces. There were also crafts for sale at the race, with proceeds benefiting women both here and in Africa.The exercise part of the day saw Salmen take the top men’s time and another Glenwood grad, Sarah Shephard, take the overall women’s crown in 5:23.6.
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