1-mile avenue evening footrace surprises some

       Waves of runners through Old Colorado City the evening of Sept. 23 caught some people by surprise - including the city transit service - but all in all, the first-time event was a success and will probably be back next year, according to Carol O'Donnell.
       The one-mile race, involving 129 runners, was the fifth of six legs in this year's Grand Prix of Running, said O'Donnell, who organizes and promotes the races with her husband, John.
       “The runners had a great time,” she said. “I could tell because they often leave before the awards ceremony, but this time almost everyone stuck around.”
       Days before the race, a flyer was given out to “everyone on the street,” including Old Colorado City merchants, who were given a chance to put information in the “goody bags” that all the runners received, O'Donnell said.
       She added that Mountain Metro Transit also “should have been notified,” but Corrine Donahue of Metro said this did not appear to have happened, and probably led to some “grumpy” riders because of buses having to bypass their normal stops by taking Highway 24 instead of the avenue.
       O'Donnell also noted that the avenue got closed off a little sooner than planned (about 5:30), which caused some disruption for unsuspecting rush-hour traffic.
       Next year, O'Donnell said she hopes such kinks can be smoothed out. A possible schedule change is in the works: The race next year might be scheduled on a summer evening, because a 6:30 p.m. starting time at this time of year resulted in near- darkness by the time the last runners ran the course, she noted.
       With a downhill straightaway for the course, the fastest time in the race was 4:31.9.

Westside Pioneer article