Swanson soars to finish first in Firecracker 4k



Christopher Mullen Post Independent Lee Griffith age 93 is cheered on as she crosses the finish line at the first annual Firecracker 4K held at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs on July 4, 2014. The Firecracker 4K has was made by the Lions Club with proceeds going to their college scholarship program and eye care program. The 4K started and ended at Two Rivers Park with the Rio Grande Trail turning by Glenwood Springs High School.
Christophe Mullen |

When Glenwood resident Warren Swanson got out of bed on Friday morning, he had no plans to do the first Firekracker 4k race at Two Rivers Park. Swanson left home for a relaxed morning run, believing he would reunite with his family in the race start area and cheer them on. Some signals were crossed as to the actual start time, so when Swanson found out his wife and boys would be arriving later, he borrowed $ 20 from a friend to pay for the race registration fee and hopped in the fray.

His unexpected morning detour was the turn of a friendly card.

Swanson, 42, took off at a rapid pace on the Rio Grande Trail and managed to stay strong throughout, fending off his much younger competitor, Owen Lamb, for his first-ever race victory with a time of 15 minutes and 28 seconds.

Swanson was just as surprised at the victory as he was at the fact that he even entered the race.

“I had no intention of running this race today. My family thought the check out time was 9 am. I ran here and saw the race start at 8 am, so I borrowed money from a friend for the entry fee, ”Swanson said. “It could be my first and last race victory. “

The brother tandem of Owen and Eric Lamb finished second and third overall with times of 15:49 and 16:26 on the 2.5 mile course.

Abbey Walters was the winner on the female side of the ledger. Walters, a teacher at Glenwood Middle School, is an accomplished runner in her own right, but that day she received help from her rescue dog Lloyd who helped pull her to victory.

Even though the course was a bit shorter than the traditional 5km (3.1 mile) distance, Walter’s (and Lloyd’s) victory pace was fast enough to make him feel like he had had a good workout. .

“It was just long enough to hurt,” Walters said with a smile.

Ryley Sutton was second in the women with a time of 19:06. She was followed by Natalie Zancanella of Glenwood who crossed the finish line at 8:59 pm.

Fifty-four runners and walkers showed up at the Firekracker 4k, sponsored by the Lions Club. Race director Darrell Stanley, who plans to make the race bigger and better next year, was pleased with the day’s events.

“I was really happy with the enthusiasm of the people today,” said Stanley. “They supported me and everyone seemed to be having fun.”

Next up for local runners is the annual Hogback Hustle 5k at New Castle on Saturday July 12. This is the fifth stop in the Colorado River Valley Charity Race Series.



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