Silt couple win Rifle’s Cheatin’ Woodchuck Chase |

Silt couple win Rifle’s Cheatin’ Woodchuck Chase

Mike VidakovichGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE MOUNTAIN PARK – Silt’s Bernie Boettcher broke out of the gates quickly and never looked back en route to winning Saturday’s Cheatin’ Woodchuck Chase 5-mile run on rain-drenched roads at the Rifle Mountain Park.Boettcher ran the mostly downhill course in a time of 26 minutes, 44 seconds to place well ahead of runner-up Rick Straughen, who crossed the finish line in 27:43.”I felt pretty good today. I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of how muddy the road would be after all the rain last night,” said Boettcher, who recorded his 112th career race win and is prepping for the Pike’s Peak Marathon on Aug. 19.”Rounding out the top three for the men was Kody Roper and his time of 31:06.Silt’s Jeanne Blatter managed to hold off the Glenwood duo of Nancy Risner and Kim Worline to win the women’s side of the day’s event with a time of 36:20.

Blatter, Boettcher’s girlfriend, found herself a little extra motivated at the start of the race by the $50 cash prize awarded to the overall male and female winners.”I was ready to go when I saw the race director waving those $50 bills around,” said Blatter with a smile.Risner tried to overtake Blatter, but just didn’t have enough left in the tank to make a sprint for the finish.”I could see her, I just didn’t have the speed to keep up,” said Risner who ran a time of 36:42.As for Worline, she was happy with her 36:50 clocking, but even happier that she was able to run a race healthy for the first time in a long while.”This is my first race since knee surgery, and it felt great to be out there,” she said.The race also featured a shorter 2.3-mile fun run/walk.The top three men were Michael Palmgren (18:09), Robbie Sjogren (18:17), and John Jenick (19:00). For the ladies it was Arianne Martin ( 21:34), Gabrielle Sjogren (31:15), and Dianne Adams (31:48).With a total of 54 participants on the day, and not even one woodchuck on the course to impede the runners’ progress, race director Wayne Edgeton was happy about the race and optimistic about its future.”We had a few more runners than last year,” said Edgeton. “We’re still trying to work out some kinks in the race and draw attention to the Charity Race Series.”Next up in the Colorado River Valley Charity Race Series is the Kid Curry Scurry on Saturday, Sept. 8. The race takes place at the Battlement Mesa Activity Center.

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