Messner cruises at Run for Your Life

G. Sean Kelly
GSPI Sports Editor
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonAbout 88 runners and walkers took part in the Run for Your Life 4-mile race and 1-mile walk Saturday at River Valley Ranch in Carbondale. Carrie Messner (far left, 534) won the 4-mile race in 23 minutes, 7 seconds. Glenwood Medical Associates organized the first annual Run for Your Life to help raise money and awareness for heart disease.

Carrie Messner needed to get a workout in Saturday.

She got her workout, and, as an added bonus, claimed the overall title in the inaugural Run For Your Life race in Carbondale.

The Carbondale resident set a blistering pace, finishing the 4-mile race that started and finished at Triangle Park with a time of 23 minutes, 7 seconds.

“I went on a bike out in front of the leaders … and I had to kind of push in places to stay ahead of them,” race organizer Greg Feinsinger said.

Messner finished 27 seconds ahead of Glenwood’s Scott Marr, with the next finisher crossing the line more than two minutes later.

Those competitors who finished behind Messner shouldn’t be too hard on themselves, however. She isn’t just running to stay fit for the occasional community race. Messner, who took third in the women’s steeplechase at the most recent U.S. Olympic trials, is in training for the upcoming U.S. Track and Field Nationals to be held in Carson, Calif., later this month.

“I’m not going to run any more (national) races before the U.S. Nationals, but I wanted to run some local races to just get in the racing atmosphere,” Messner said.

She is qualified for the 5,000 meters and steeplechase, but said she will focus just on the steeplechase at Nationals.

“I was working pretty hard,” said Messner, a member of Team Asics. “It’s a good course with a little up and down. And it’s through RVR, which is beautiful. I think everyone was just out having fun. How many crazy people are going to go out in the rain and run.”

In all, a solid 88 participants turned out for the run, which benefits the new Cardiac and Vascular Center at Valley View Hospital and the Glenwood Springers Track Club.

“We were happy (with the turnout),” Feinsinger said. “I woke up this morning and said, ‘Nobody is going to show up.'”

Following Messner in the women’s results was Myriah Blair in second (third overall) in 25:55 and Jenny Barsness in 26:17.

Matt Vickers, Messner’s boyfriend, took second in the men’s race in 26:31, nipping Brad Palmer by one second.

For more results, see Scoreboard on page 13.

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