MEEKER I For the past 35 years in the early morning hours of the Fourth of July, Meeker locals and visitors have gathered downtown to take part in a different kind of Independence Day parade: the Run for Your Life 5K walk/run. Last year the race featured 120 runners and more than 130 walkers.
The Herald Times was the original race sponsor, followed by the fire department, Meeker High School’s cross-country team and now the race is sponsored by the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Park and Recreation District.
The 5-kilometer course, just a little more than three miles, winds through Meeker’s downtown residential area, covering familiar territory for many of the participants.
This year discounted early-bird registration is $15 through July 2 at the Meeker Recreation Center. Registration is available only at the Meeker Recreation Center on July 3 until the close of business for $30. And the day of the race, particpants can register at the courthouse lawn between 5:30-7 a.m. for $30.
The cost of registration includes a t-shirt, which will be distributed to race participants at the finish line after the race. Participants must pick up their bib number on July 4 at the registration tent on the courthouse lawn by 7 a.m. for run participants and by 7:30 a.m. for walk participants. The 5K run begins at 7:30 and the 5K walk begins at 8 a.m.
For the past two years, the running race has been dominated by Rangely’s William Scoggins. He defended his 2012 title in 2013 with a time of 16:57.
Hanna Borchard was the first female across the line in 2013, completing the race in 22:41.
Collin Robinson was the fastest walker, crossing the finish line in 33:02. Sydney Hughes was the first female to cross the finish line, needing 36:27 to walk the 5K.
Sam Conrado (32:31) won the 6-and-under male division and Owen Maser (24:03) won the 7-12 male division, while Carlie Dare (31:54) won the 7-12 female division.
The overall winner came from the 13-18 male division and Julia Eskelson (25:32) won the 13-18 female title.
Sarah Balloga was the fastest female between the ages of 19 and 29 and Wesley Toews won the same age division for males.
Borchard, the female winner, competed in the 30-39 division, which was won by Jared Harvey (21:08) in the male division. Karl Maser and Laura Ryan were the fastest runners in their respective genders in the 40-49 age division and Kent Walter and Maureen Obrien were the fastest in the 50-59 age division.
Donna Dare and Mike Hardy won the 60-69 division and Jim Mense won the men’s 70-79 age division.