Records gobbled up at Turkey Day 5K
It must have been the shorts.
Only a handful of runners were brave enough to go bare-legged in the typically chilly late-November morning on Thursday, but the three top finishers were all showing skin at the 16th annual Turkey Day 5K.
“The shorts are key,” third-place finisher Bernie Boettcher said. “You get so cold you have to run fast just to stay warm.”
And it was a fast race.
On a day when Bob Willey – the winner of the inaugural Turkey Day run – was honored, a first-time competitor broke the men’s course record. A new course record was also set on the women’s side, as defending champion Megan Lund turned in a time of 19 minutes, 40 seconds.
Dewayne Miner finished the 5-kilometer track in 15:34, beating the previous record, set in 1990, by 12 seconds.
In his first local race since moving to Glenwood in July, Miner certainly turned some heads in the local running community.
“It takes a little while to get used to the elevation,” Miner said. “This was a good entrance for me.”
“I think it’s a great thing for the running community to have somebody really good,” Boettcher said. “This year’s goal for me was to keep up with Chas (Salmen). I had no idea this guy would be here.”
Miner jumped out to an early lead that quickly became insurmountable when Salmen, last year’s champion, took a tumble on the first switchback of the course that traversed the fairways of the Glenwood Springs Golf Club.
“You’d think I’d have the home course advantage, but I completely forgot (about the icy corner), and I went down hard,” said Salmen, a former Glenwood Springs High School standout harrier now running for the Duke University team. “Still, I think there was some pretty formidable opposition.
“He made me get into these shorts,” added Salmen, who said he was ready to run in sweatpants until he saw Miner.
Salmen finished in second place with a time of 16:51, while Boettcher was third in 17:06.
Lund, who recently helped the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs women’s team finish 11th at the Division II national meet, shattered the old course record by 45 seconds.
She didn’t, however, achieve her ultimate goal. She needed to shave 53 seconds off her time to beat her father Ron Lund, the coach of the Alpine Christian cross country team.
“That’s definitely my goal – to beat the old man someday,” she said.
Ron Lund finished sixth overall in 18:48.
Heidi Vosbeck was the second woman to cross the line, with a time of 20:25, while March Thompson was third in 20:36.
Tyler Thulson posted the best boys’ time for competitors under 12 with a time of 23:31, while Jordan Chavez was second at 26:12.
In the girls’ under-12 division, Angela Shepard had the top time of 28:05.
While the 5K run/walk is the focal point of Turkey Day, a number of participants use it simply as an excuse to socialize. A record 279 people signed up for the event this year, and some donned their best outfits.
Willey wore the same tuxedo he’s worn the past decade or so to the event. Elvis, along with someone wearing the prison garb of a recently escaped convict, were also in the run, which concluded with a turkey feast and awards ceremony.
“This is one of the best social events of the season,” Willey said. “You’ve got to dress up for the top events.
“The true joy of the race is just people celebrating Thanksgiving and friendships,” he added. “It’s people who love to live here and love the outdoors.”
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