It’s official: Spring running season is here |

It’s official: Spring running season is here

Mike Vidakovich
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Mike Vidakovich

The late Italian cyclist Marco Pantani once said that when there’s a mountain to climb, you must ascend with the tenacity of a pirate and then come down on the wings of an angel.

If hills are your thing ” especially running them ” then this Sunday’s Sequoia Glen 5K is the race for you. The 10th annual rite of spring takes place on March 15 with a matinee start at 3 p.m. in West Glenwood on Donegan Road.

The course takes runners and walkers on a scenic climb up Mitchell Creek Road and past the Glenwood Fish Hatchery to a quaint little creekside turnaround spot known as Sequoia Glen.

Then it’s back down the hill to the finish, where there’s a gold medallion waiting for those who finish the challenging course in under 29 minutes and a silver award that goes to the under-32-minute crowd. The second-best post-race party in the valley (Turkey Day is No. 1) awaits those who brave the tough course and make it to the finish line.

Bernie Boettcher’s 2007 time of 21:19 is the time to beat if you’re intent on going for the course record. Even if you miss out on topping Boettcher’s mark, you can still get some exercise and make a donation to Colorado Animal Rescue, the race’s beneficiary.

Sequoia Glen is the first of the six-race Colorado River Valley Charity Race Series. The others, with distance, date, and location, are: Titan Trot 5K, April 25 (Silt); Hogback Hustle 5K, July 11 (New Castle); Cheatin’ Woodchuck Chase 5 mile, Aug. 1 (Rifle Mountain Park); Kid Curry Scurry 5K, Sept. 12 (Battlement Mesa); and Grand River Gallop 5K, Oct. 10 (Rifle).

Runners are awarded series points based on where they finish in their respective age divisions. The first 10 places for each race are given points and tallied throughout the race series. Age-group winners are announced at the conclusion of the last race in the series, the Grand River Gallop in Rifle.

My final thought has to do with racing of a different kind of species. It’s one that I’m sure some of you old-timers will enjoy.

Whenever I see the name of the great racehorse Seabiscuit mentioned, my interest perks up. I noticed in the Dateline section of a local newspaper last week that, on March 2, 1940, Seabiscuit won the Santa Anita Handicap in the final race of his career.

The Biscuit, ridden by enigmatic jockey Red Pollard, won the race that was then known as the “Hundred Grander” by one-half length over Kayak II. The victory was especially sweet for the Seabiscuit camp since the horse had lost at Santa Anita by a nose in both 1937 and 1938.

Many of you have probably seen the movie that chronicles the life and times of Seabiscuit and Pollard, but if you haven’t read Laura Hillenbrand’s book that inspired the movie, you should. It’s one of the most wonderfully written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

See you at the race Sunday.

Mike Vidakovich is a freelance sports writer for the Post Independent.

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