Lamb, Helms take men’s, women’s races at FireKracker 4K |

Lamb, Helms take men’s, women’s races at FireKracker 4K

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent

Top Twenty-Five Overall. *Denotes female: 1. Gregg Lamb, 14 minutes, 25 seconds; 2. Benny Swanson, 14:58; 3. Stephen Pitchkolan, 15:25; 4. Tyler Parker, 15:56; 5. Warren Swanson, 16:40; 6. Ethan Poland, 16:54; 7. Lexi Helms*, 17:13; 8. Emily Witt*, 17:15; 9. Emily Worline*, 17:23; 10. Erica Diemoz*, 17:35; 11. Russel Bollig, 17:39; 12. James Parker, 18:18; 13. Johnny Utah, 18:25; 14. Adriana Chance*, 18:35; 15. Sydney Schriock*, 18:43; 16. Abigail Dufon*, 18:51; 17. Larisa Pitchkolan*, 18:59; 18. Calvin Swanson, 19:22; 19. Troy Flohr, 19:29; 20. Tanner Merritt, 20:07; 21. Paul Dudley, 20:14; 22. Derek Witt, 20:37; 23. Domenica Smith*, 20:59; 24. Phil Samora, 21:04; 25. Ben Sarno, 21:07.

On a sunny and warm 4th of July morning at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood, 89 runners and walkers showed up to make the 2.5 mile out-and-back trek on the Rio Grande Trail in the sixth annual FireKracker 4K Run/Walk sponsored by the Glenwood Springs Lions Club.

The race raises funds to provide eye examinations and glasses to children and adults in the Roaring Fork Valley. It takes a village of race directors from the Lions Club to make the FireKracker event a popular holiday stop each year for local fitness enthusiasts.

“It was a beautiful day and everybody had a good spirit. There was a nice mix of adults and kids in the race,” said Darrell Stanley, who along with Kathy Wren, Joe Mollica, Rick Voorhees, Jack Green, and Collette Wren make the 4th of July event a special happening.

The big winner on the day was a late entrant from Wichita Falls, Texas. Gregg Lamb was able to come from behind and edge Glenwood Springs Middle School seventh grader Benny Swanson.

Lamb, who trailed Swanson at the turn around point just south of Glenwood High School, posted a winning time of 14 minutes, 25 seconds. Swanson, who is a nationally ranked runner with the Glenwood Springers Track Club, came to the finish line at 14:58. Rounding out the top five overall was Stephen Pitchkolan (15:25), New Castle’s Tyler Parker (15:56), and Warren Swanson (16:40).

Seventh place overall and the winner in the women’s portion of the FireKracker was Glenwood High School sophomore Lexi Helms with a time of 17:13. Helms, who figures to be a major player on the GSHS cross country team this fall, was running her first race of the summer after mostly just training on her own since track season ended in May.

“I’m happy. This is my first-ever win in a citizen’s race,” Helms said. “I just decided to do this last week.”

Many familiar faces to the local running circuit were in pursuit of the win, as Emily Witt (17:15) narrowly missed running down Helms at the finish. Former GSHS track and cross country standouts Emily Worline (17:23) and Erica Diemoz (17:35) were not far behind the leaders. Glenwood High School Math teacher Anne Swanson (pushing her little cousin in a stroller), was fifth for the ladies at 18:35. Glenwood Middle Schoolers Sydney Schriock (18:43) and Abigail Dufon (18:51) rounded out a talented top seven for the women.

Glenwood Community Center activities director Ben Sarno, who finished third in the men’s 40-49 category with a time of 21:07, aptly summed up the feeling on our country’s birthday at the conclusion of the race awards ceremony.

“America. Heck ya!”

Next up for local runners will be the annual Hogback Hustle 5K on Saturday, July 13 in New Castle. Race start time will be 8 a.m. at the New Castle City Market parking area.

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