Monday, January 16, 2006

A plethora of local races set for 2006

Maybe you've just started running, or perhaps you're a grizzled 20-year multisport athlete. Either way, there is a perfect race for you in the area in 2006.

The Snowdown runs are Feb. 4 and 5.

"One-hundred people from six different states are already signed up," said Matt Kelly, head hasher.

The Animas River Trail 5K and one-mile fun run on Feb. 25 form the first event of the Fort Lewis College race series. These events raise money for the FLC running program and scholarship fund.

The Durango Parks and Recreation Department is also putting on a series of races this year. The first event, a Valentine's Day 5K, is Feb. 11.

"This race has great raffle prizes," said Ann Cramer, recreation supervisor.

The High Altitude Snowshoe Race and Alley Challenge cross country ski race, part of Silverton's Snowscape Festival, are Feb. 18 and 19.

Wiggy's 12th annual Fun Run begins at Cascade Village on Feb. 26. The 19-mile route follows Highway 550 over Coal Bank and Molas Pass before finishing at the Explorer's Club in Silverton. New Belgium Beer is helping out with beverages this year.

Hozhoni Days 5K on March 25 is the second race of the FLC series and the Screaming Downhill Race from the college mesa to Your Running Store on April 15 is the third.

The Pueblo to Pueblo 11-mile and 2-mile fun run is on April 29. This course leans downhill and travels on beautiful rural roads between Dolores and Cortez.

Shiprock, named for the ancient volcanic plug west of Farmington, hosts its 23rd annual marathon on May 6. For those who do not want to run 26.2 miles, there is also a five-person relay.

At Tri-the-Rim, on April 15 at FLC, competitors will swim 500 yards, bike 12 miles and run 3.1 miles.

The city-sponsored South Rim Duathlon, a combination mountain bike and trail run, is May 7. There is a long course, a short course and a kid's race.

The Telegraph 5 and 10K take place on Mother's Day, May 14. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory provides treats for moms. This is also the first event of the Alpine Bank trail series.

The 29th Annual Narrow Gauge 10-mile and 5K is May 28.

"This is a classic route that goes up North College, does a loop around the college and comes back down Goeglein," said race director Leo Lloyd, Sr. "It's part of a great weekend of events that also includes the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic and the Narrow Horse 1500-meter swim."

"There were 51 swimmers last year and seven people who completed the three-day triathlon," said swim director and Durango Motorless Transit president, Marjorie Brinton.

The Mountain Park Classic, a new race this year, is June 10.

"We are encouraging all runners, walkers and hikers to participate," Cramer said.

The Steamworks Animas Valley Half-Marathon is June 17.

"We'll have finisher medals this year and a big barbeque at the race finish at the Durango Sports Club," Kelly said.

With the Blue Ribbon 10K on the Fourth, Hard Rock 100 Endurance Run, July 14-16 and Kendall Mountain on July 22, Silverton is the place to be for runners in July.

"July 4 is a big camping weekend, and we'll have the rhubarb festival, ducky races, marching brass band and fireworks too," said Amy Gass, Chamber of Commerce director.

The Hardrock 100 might sound like a difficult task, but race director Dale Garland said, "It's not tough at all as long as you can run from sea level to the top of Mt. Everest at an average elevation of over two miles above sea level."

In August, there's the Durango Parks and Recreation Triathlon, Kennebec Challenge and the Durango Sports Club Femme 10K.

The Animas Mountain Mug Run is September 24.

The Durango Double, part of the Rocky Mountain Festival for Runners, is October 7 and 8.

"We had 106 people do the Double last year, and there were people from 34 states, Japan and Canada," Kelly said.

The Journey of Hope 5K, also in October, raises money for women to get mammograms.

Thanksgiving Day, November 23, brings the annual Turkey Trot 5-mile and one-mile fun run.

"In 2005 we had over 450 runners," said race director Nick Nichols.

Found the races you want to do this year?

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