Van Horn, Kerowen cruise to Jingle Bell 5K wins |

Van Horn, Kerowen cruise to Jingle Bell 5K wins

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent

The 12th annual Jingle Bell 5K Run took place with chilly morning temperatures and 52 runners and walkers getting some pre-Christmas exercise at Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale on Sunday.

On the Sunday prior to Christmas each year, the race is run, snow or shine, as a benefit for the Glenwood Springs High School track program.

Former Independence Run and Hike store manager Sean Van Horn set a blistering pace from the start to record a time of 17 minutes, 43 seconds and easily outdistance runner-up Ryan Laenel, who posted a finishing time of 18:28.

Watkins Fulk-Gray and local running icon Bernie Boettcher rounded out the top four overall places with times of 18:43 and 19:25, respectively.

Fifth place overall, and the women’s champion was Sarah Jane Kerowen, who was locked in a back-and-forth battle with Tara Richardson during the entire race. The race was run on the Rio Grande Trail and the streets of Carbondale, which included a lung-burning trip up White Hill and back down again.

Kerowen’s winning time was 19:39, with Richardson close behind at 19:42. Third place for the ladies was Tami Koches with a time of 22:31, followed by Anne Swanson at 23:10.

On a special race note, Amy Rollins of Basalt placed 26th overall with a time of 28:02. Rollins, who is normally at or near the top of the women’s field in local races, had run 18 miles Sunday morning prior to the start of the Jingle Bell 5K. She was celebrating her 33rd birthday and had 12 miles left to run following the race to complete her goal of 33 miles.

Independence Run & Hike owner Brion After, left, introduces contestants in the ugly sweater contest at the annual Jingle Bell Run 5K Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 in Carbondale, including Amy Rollins, middle, who turned 33 the same day. For her birthday, Rollins ran a total of 33 miles Sunday to raise money for Healthy All Together, which provides rent and food assistance for those in need in the Roaring Fork Valley. Her goal was $3,300, but by Sunday morning she had already raised more than $3,900.
John Stroud/Post Independent

She made it!

Top-25 Overall: (*Denotes female) 1. Sean Van Horn, 17 minutes, 43 seconds; 2. Ryan Laenel, 18:28; 3. Watkins Fulk-Gray, 18:43; 4. Bernie Boettcher, 19:25; 5. Sarah Jane Kerowen*, 19:39; 6. Tara Richardson*, 19:42; 7. Aziz Johnson, 19:42; 8. Bryce Risner, 19:48; 9. Josh Hejtmanek, 20:59; 10. Dylan West, 21:17; 11. Tami Koches*, 22:31; 12. Jeff Erickson, 22:31; 13. Anne Swanson*, 23:10; 14. Phil Berry, 23:16; 15. Jessi Rochel*, 24:52; 16. Annie Tempest*, 24:54; 17. Alexandra Heller*, 24:58; 18. Heidi Vosbeck*, 24:58; 19. Nuala Piccolo*, 24:59; 20. Brad Palmer, 25:22; 21. Johnny Utah, 25:45; 22. Donna Miller*, 26:26; 23. Taia Nykerk*, 26:58; 24. Scott Nykerk, 26:59; Judy Jetson*, 27:08.

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