Athletes enjoy fall run, walk |

Athletes enjoy fall run, walk

Jamie Hallman

— The Steamboat Pilot & Today Run for Literacy seven-mile run, 5K run and 5K walk provided each runner or walker with an individual purpose for competing in the event Sunday.

For Jane Welzel, winning the women’s overall in the seven-mile event was a short stop for her along the way as she tries to qualify for the marathon Olympic trials in six weeks. She is one of four women who have qualified in the marathon Olympic trials five times.

Welzel, of Fort Collins, who has won the race a few times over the years, says she always tries to make it for the race to see the fall colors and the beautiful scenery in Steamboat.

Wenzel finished with a time of 47 minutes, 1 second, followed by Christina McGill at 56:07 and Tracy Tyson at 56:19.

The men’s seven-mile race was led by Pete Heck with a time of 45:27. Heck, who moved to Steamboat three months ago, said that he has recently spent more time settling in and taking care of his 3-year-old daughter than running.

“I was surprised to do so well,” said Heck. Heck has competed in two other Steamboat Springs Running Series races, placing first in the Spring Creek Memorial and second in the Mountain Madness 10K.

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Placing second for the men was Doug Mason with a time of 47:29, and Kent Oglesby placed third at 48:11.

The seven-mile course included a climb up Steamboat Boulevard, which turned off on the Sanctuary Trail, providing runners with a good run for on-road and off-road training.

“It’s the trail component of the course that keeps it interesting,” Heck said.

For other race competitors, the race provided them with the final run of the running race series.

Bill McCalla placed second in the 50-and-over age category for the 5K. He has completed several races that constitute the Steamboat Springs Running Series. McCalla, 70, said he has been running competitively for the past 20 years and enjoys the challenge of running races. He said he didn’t need to compete Sunday to secure his place in the series, but he ran because he liked the race and had been prevented from running some races earlier in the season from an injury to his Achilles tendon.

Overall winners for the men’s 5K race were Davis Miller, who placed first with a time of 19:58. Second went to Alex Miller at 21:40 and Austin Ross placed third with a time of 22:01.

The women’s five-mile race was won by Emily Conjura with a time of 22:04; Laura Bruns finished second at 25:13 and Kay Stuart was third at 25:26.

Overall 5K walk winners were Kathy Miller at 36:56; Adel Akkad at 40:54 and Ann Murtha at 41:02.

All proceeds from the event help support Newspapers In Education, which provides newspapers and learning materials to school-age children in Routt County.