Hundreds compete in Turkey Day 5K |

Hundreds compete in Turkey Day 5K

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. ” It was silent.

It was a little after 8 a.m., and no one could be found.

Clouds masked the sky on what appeared to be an average November morning at Glenwood Springs Golf Club.

Beyond the empty parking lot, fairways were covered with grass slowing fading to its winter shades. Trees stood naked, awaiting winter’s snow to cover its barren branches previously draped in leaves dressed in fall’s full array.

As 10 a.m. approached, “The Hill” began to come alive. Over 300 people gathered on the now life-filled tee boxes, greeting each other with warm holiday wishes and celebrating a holiday not centered around turkeys, but on being with loved ones. The sun split up the clouds, fighting its way through to shine down on the 20th annual Turkey Day 5K.

With the temperature rising as fast as people were lining up at the starting line, it was another beautiful day for Glenwood traditional Thanksgiving Day race.

Competitive runners stretched, families laughed, dogs were whining with anticipation as the gun fired and a record-number of 305 racers began winding their way through the zigzagging course.

Sixteen minutes and 14 seconds later, former Glenwood Springs High runner and current Duke University student-athlete Marco Salmen cruised across the line as the race’s winner. While Salmen returned from school to see his family, running the race is one of his holiday traditions.

“There is so many great runners here in Glenwood, I’ll always come back,” Salmen said. “A bunch of people from our old high school team are here and this was a lot of fun today. You don’t always get to race on such a beautiful day with great people on a great course.”

Local running legend Bernie Boettcher, last year’s winner, followed 12 seconds behind Salmen. Former Basalt High and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs runner, Megan Lund took fifth overall, taking the women’s title with a time of 18:22. It was the second straight win for Lund, who is also currently training as a member of the Team Colorado Adidas Team and will compete in a 6K in San Francisco in December.

“It was a lot of fun. I haven’t raced in two months, so I was fun to get out there,” Lund said. “It’s fun to do this every year because my friends do it and my family. It’s just a good way to start the holiday.”

Coming in at 76th place, was bid-covered Jake Townsley. The 7-year-old Carbondale Community School student was carrying one of the races many traditions. Drapped from head to toe in race tags, Townsley runs for and represents his classmates who wanted to be at the race, but traveled elsewhere for the holiday.

With his bibs flapping in the breeze, the crowd could hear Townsley coming down the home stretch as they cheered him into the finish.

“It was loud,” Townsley said with a smile. “(When I was running) I was thinking I was sorta famous for a second.”

In the 12 and under divisions, Keegan Swirbul took the boys title, finishing 40th overall. Completing the course in 26:16, was his sister Haley Swirbul, who won the girls race.

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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