Locals dominate Strawberry Shortcut runs | PostIndependent.com

Locals dominate Strawberry Shortcut runs

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson Marco Salmen, 18, finished first with 34 minutes 37.58 seconds in the annual Strawberry Shortcut 10K Sunday morning. Salmen attends Duke University, running for both the track and cross country teams.

Growing up, Marco Salmen watched the legendary runners of the Strawberry Shortcut 10-kilometer race win races. On Sunday, he became a member of the inner circle.Wearing a Glenwood Springs High School track uniform for good luck, the Duke University freshman won the 2004 men’s 10K in 34 minutes, 37.58 seconds.To win, Salmen outsped three long-time race participants.

Runner-up Jay Valentine from Fruita, 17 seconds back at 34:54.20, was the closest to Salmen’s pace. Silt resident Bernie Boettcher, who finished in at 34:41.80 was third. Charlie Wertheim of Glenwood took fourth-place.Salmen noted the contributions of his fellow runners afterwards, but stopped short of considering himself part of the elite group.”It’s just fun to be part of the race,” Salmen said.Referring to Boettcher, Weitheim and Valentine, Salmen noted, “These guys are really the legends of running in Glenwood Springs. It was great to have some older people to look up to and have some great role models for running.”

Last year, with his older brother Chas, Marco competed in the 5K race and took third place as Chas won the event. But the younger Salmen was a rookie to the 10K longer course, which begins downtown, continues over the Grand Avenue bridge and stretches over Interstate 70 and through Two Rivers Park and out to West Glenwood before looping back under the bridge for the finish.”I’ve lived in Glenwood all my life and never run the Strawberry Shortcut 10K race,” said Salmen. “I’ve seen the course a lot. I knew it a bit and I knew we had some great runners in it.”And, like all runners, Salmen had to develop a strategy to run the course and challenge his competitors.”I knew I wasn’t going to break Bernie or Valentine early, so I had to stick with them. That’s what I did, and they were great. I never got to run with them (before) … it was great running with them and being a part of this.”

Another relative newcomer on the Strawberry Shortcut scene – Gus Lundin – won the men’s 5K run.The former GSHS track star, who now competes at the University of Colorado, buzzed through the 3.1-mile course in 16:29.76, well ahead of Thornton resident Jason Graham’s runner-up mark of 16:57.04.At last year’s 5K, Lundin finished fourth.Joe Mason of Grand Junction clocked in at 17:00.92 for third. Wertheim, running in back-to-back races, recorded his second fourth-place finish of the day.Joe Mason of Grand Junction clocked in at 17:00.92 for third. Wertheim, running in back-to-back races, recorded his second fourth-place finish of the day.

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