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More than 1,000 runners take to trail before Super Bowl
February 03, 2013 3:05 PM
Like penicillin coming from moldy bread, great ideas are often happy accidents.
Make that super ideas.
Sunday's Super Half Marathon and 5K was one of those accidents.
“There are lots of runs in Colorado Springs, sometimes 2-4 in a weekend,” said race organizer Tim Bergsten. “We looked at the schedule and the only open date, it seemed like, was Super Bowl Sunday.
“To begin with, we thought Super Bowl Sunday didn't look too good. It only took about a minute to sink in that Super Bowl Sunday is really a holiday, a celebration.”
Some 1,040 runners joined that celebration Sunday.
“Just a game-day 5K,” Bubba Chavez, 44, said. “It's a great day to be running, a super day to be running. Go out, get some exercise and then you can go and eat guilt free at the party afterward.”
The party after the run was the common theme among the participants. That's little surprise since the Super Bowl has long since evolved beyond a football game and into a national – and even international – phenomenon.
“If there's one day in the United States when we all celebrate sport, it's Super Bowl Sunday,” Bergsten said. “We also knew that runners love to run on holidays. If you look at the St. Patty's day race and they were right at 3,000 and there's the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.
“We figured that people would like to run on Super Bowl Sunday.”
The day, the brass band at the starting line and the downtown atmosphere added to the ambiance. Runners started near the Plaza of the Rockies on Colorado Avenue, then went behind the Antlers Hotel where they transitioned to the Monument Valley Trail.
There was little evidence of Sunday's game as Ravens and 49ers gear was rare. There was ample evidence of the game many Coloradans would rather have had as properly bedecked Broncos fans ran off some of their shared sorrow.
“It's a bittersweet thing,” said Chavez, who was sporting a vintage Al Wilson jersey. “I'd rather see my Broncos in it, but since they're not, I'll just go out and enjoy the game either way.”
For Sherry Saunders, 40, it was sweet with her Ravens in the game. She ran the half-marathon in a Ray Rice jersey because, well, she had to.
“I've been doing a tradition for all of the Ravens playoff games to do a run before each of them,” she said. “I'm just keeping up with the tradition I started a few weeks ago when we played the Broncos.”
UCCS cross country member Ryan Derrick set a course record in winning the half-marathon with a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and 8 seconds. Connilee Walter won the women's race, also setting a course record in 1:29.18.
In the 5K, Tommy Manning was the men's winner and Amanda Ewing the women's.
For most, though, it wasn't about competition.
“It's all about exercise, being healthy and then sitting down and eating great food, having some cold beverages and enjoying what's going to be a great game,” Jeff Hundt, 57, said.
That part is no accident.