TELLURIDE – Runners hoping to squeeze in one final race before the snow flies will have their opportunity Saturday, October 2, as the Heart of Telluride 5k/10k takes to the streets and trails around Telluride.
The race, now in its second year, offers runners a high profile course that takes advantage of Telluride’s historic attractions as well as its natural beauty, with a route that winds through downtown Telluride and then either to the River Trail or to the Legacy Trail (out to the Pandora Mill at the end of the valley) and back.
“Our goal was to provide a fun and highly visible 10K/5K run and walk to celebrate the history and beauty of Telluride,” says Heart of Telluride Race Director and THS/TMS Track and Cross Country coach Keith Hampton, who notes that while some of the community’s strongest young track and cross country athletes will likely be kicking up dust as they use this race as training for upcoming events, the Heart of Telluride is open to all-level recreational and competitive runners and walkers.
The race is a fundraiser for the Just For Kids Foundation, the Telluride High School Track and Cross Country programs, as well as a new program in town, Girls on the Run.
Girls on the Run is a national fitness and experiential learning program for girls age 8 to 13 years old, which seeks to educate young women about self-respect and healthy living through positive physical as well as social and emotional development. Local personal trainer and owner of the alt8750 gym on Telluride’s main street, Nicole Stone-Lankes, started a San Miguel County chapter of the program this year, which joins similar Girls on the Run programs in Chaffee, Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Mesa, Montrose and Routt counties in Colorado, as well as programs in San Juan and Grand counties in Utah.
The race will begin at the Town Park. Runners and walkers for both the 10K and 5K events will proceed west up Colorado Ave. past the courthouse to Davis St. At Davis, everyone will turn around and head back east on Colorado Ave., passing the courthouse once more.
“We wanted to be sure that there was plenty of visibility for the racers so that their fans could provide encouragement,” explains Hampton of the course’s route through downtown Telluride.
At the edge of town, 5K runners/walkers will turn onto the River Trail and follow the trail around town and back to Davis St. 10K runners will continue east to the top of the hill by Pandora Mill and will then return to town via the Legacy Trail and River Trail. Once back on Colorado Ave. all participants will finish in front of the San Miguel County Courthouse.
Each participant will receive a commemorative Heart of Telluride T-shirt, and awards will be given to the top finishers in both the youth and adult categories.
The race starts at 8 a.m. Registration is $25, or $35 on race day. For more information visit www.telluriderunning.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org