Hejtmanek and Arnhold win Run For Their Lives 5K | PostIndependent.com

Hejtmanek and Arnhold win Run For Their Lives 5K

Mike Vidakovich


Saturday in Silt

Top 20 Overall Finishers

1. Josh Hejtmanek, 17 minutes, 45 seconds; 2. Cody Sedbrook, 17:49; 3. Mike Palmgren, 18:27; 4. Candelario DeLuera, 21:33; 5. Bob Byram, 22:01; 6. Brad Palmer, 23:44; 7. Andrea Arnhold*, 24:03; 8. Johnny Utah, 24:38; 9. Joel Valencia, 25:17; 10. Rick Wernsmann, 25:41; 11. Charlie DeFord, 26:02; 12. JuLynn Young*, 26:26; 13. Ashlie Bowles*, 27:13; 14. Britton DeFord*, 27:14; 15. Tim Young, 27:25; 16. Shawn Brennan, 27:26; 17. Michael Pazzin, 27:38; 18. Eileen Wysocki*, 27:48; 19. Bob Layman, 28:35; 20. Janice Ingram*, 29:00.

* — Denotes female.

SILT — A perfect running morning of gray skies and cool temperatures greeted a record field of 104 runners and walkers, and made Saturday’s annual Run/Walk For Their Lives 5K the biggest in the eight-year history of the event.

To say that director Sandy Burns was pleased with the turnout for her race would be a considerable understatement.

“I’m so thankful for this day and all of the runners and walkers that make this such a special gathering,” gushed Burns. “I just want to give everyone a hug.”

The first person back to the finish line to get that hug from Burns was New Castle resident Josh Hejtmanek, who seems to find his way to the winner’s circle at most local running competitions on a regular basis.

Hejtmanek’s speedy victory post of 17 minutes, 45 seconds was partially the result of stalking, and then being chased to the end by 19-year-old Cody Sedbrook, who is a sophomore on the cross country team at Minnesota-Duluth University.

Sedbrook finished a scant 4 seconds behind the champion and left Hejtmanek wondering how much longer he can fend off a stable of young pursuers who are making a habit of tracking him at each race.

“All of these youngsters are starting to wear me out,” said Hejtmanek with a smile.

Only having been in Colorado for a week prior to the race, Sedbrook was not acclimated to the high altitude nor was he aware of the several difficult climbs that awaited him on the course ahead.

“That is by far the toughest course I have ever run,” stated Sedbrook.

Mike Palmgren, at 18:27, was third overall, and the ageless wonder, 57-year old Candelario DeLuera of Rifle, was fourth with a time of 21:33.

The women’s winner, and seventh overall, was former Glenwood Middle School teacher Andrea Arnhold.

Arnhold, who now lives in Eagle, won her gender class with a 24:03 clocking. The hills of Silt didn’t seem to affect her steady stride much, and based on her comments following the race, maybe she was too busy enjoying the scenery to worry about how high up she was traveling.

“Silt is such a nice, pretty little town. I always enjoy running here,” Arnhold said.

Second place for the ladies was JuLynn Young in 26:26, and former Coal Ridge High School standout athlete Ashlie Bowles was third with a time of 27:13.

The Run/Walk For Their Lives 5K serves as a benefit for the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation in Silt, which rehabilitates and releases injured and orphaned animals. The race is also the fourth stop on the Colorado River Valley Charity Race Series.

Next up will be the Hogback Hustle 5K in New Castle on Saturday, July 11.

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