Vidakovich column: The end of winter party |

Vidakovich column: The end of winter party

Mike Vidakovich
Mike Vidakovich

Hey, local runners: The 18th annual Kenny Cline Memorial Sequoia Glen 5K Run/Walk is coming up soon, scheduled this year for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 11, in West Glenwood Springs. The run is followed by the traditional End of Winter Party, where we wave goodbye to another gloomy winter, and happily welcome the beginning of spring.

Sequoia Glen, a hilly test that sends runners and walkers up above the Glenwood Fish Hatchery from the start on Donegan Road, is the first race in the yearly, six-race Colorado River Valley Charity Race Series. A fellow runner said to me recently, “You need gumption to run that race.” It’s true that a little gumption and a lot of hill training does help, but many who show up choose to walk with their dog or a friend of the human variety and just take in the beautiful sights of the trail.

As has been the case each year, proceeds from the event will go to help local animal shelters and the Pauline Schneegas Wildlife Foundation in Silt. I’ve always enjoyed animals much more than people, so it’s been a labor of love to help out the folks at our animal shelters who work so hard to find all creatures a good home and a chance at a better life. I completely understand, and agree with, the sign one of my neighbors has in his yard: “All pets are welcome. Children must be on a leash!”

It’s a bit ironic that we try to raise money by putting on the race each year to help Nanci Limbach rehabilitate and release orphaned and injured wildlife at the Schneegas Foundation, including bears, mountain lions, and various other creatures of the earth, and yet I read in a newspaper article in December that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife will start a predator control program in May that will trap and kill five to 10 mountain lions and 10 to 20 black bears in the Piceance Basin and the Upper Arkansas River. This is being done in hopes of a revival in the mule deer populations of those areas.

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This doesn’t make much sense to me, but nothing any government agency does anymore seems to make a great deal of logic. I’m no expert, but it seems that human development is more to blame in this case than the predators are. But again, we punish animals for human follies.

This approach to solving a problem is every bit as foolhardy as tagging and sometimes destroying bears for getting into neighborhood trash containers. I’ve witnessed, time and again on my morning runs, the containers dumped over along the streets in the wee hours, because people put them out at night instead of in the morning because they are too lazy to get up early. My solution is simple. First, a warning to the offenders, then a significant fine on the second infraction, upon a third violation, the resident(s) of the property are taken away in a cage to a holding area, and then euthanized. Hey, we do it to the bears.

Anyway, if you have $15 for the entry fee and some gumption, come run or walk Sequoia Glen and help celebrate the birth of spring. We usually get 45 or 50 hearty souls to show up, and we have a great time in each other’s company. Please join us. For race info, call 945-0979.

Friends and Foes

Roaring Fork girls basketball coach Jade Bath and Basalt girls coach Katheryne Fitzpatrick have competed against each other in some way, shape or form since they were in grade school. The two friends and former athletes are still banging heads, now in the coaching ranks at their alma maters. Bath and Fitzpatrick are both great role models for the kids they mentor, and they each do a good job teaching the game they love. The Rams and Longhorns are improving teams, and in good hands for years to come with these two young women at the helm.

Mike Vidakovich writes freelance for the Post Independent.

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