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Oktoberfest 5K draws fun-loving crowd to trail in NE Colorado Springs
Where else would you expect to find the Fartlek Frauleins but an Oktoberfest run?
The trio of long-legged lasses donned colorful — and short — dirndls, or traditional-style dresses, Saturday for the inaugural Oktoberfest 5K, run along the Sand Creek Trail in northeast Colorado Springs. The race was part of a three-day Oktoberfest celebration that continues today at Security Service Field.
“We run together a lot, and we thought this run would be fun,” said Tracey Myers, 42, of Colorado Springs, her hair in two shiny blond braids.
“It was an excuse to dress up,” said Allison Wroe, 46, adjusting her thigh-high stockings before posing for photos with her friends.
While some of the 200-odd runners saw the event as a way to train or strive for a personal record, most seemed happy to accomplish nothing more than joining friends and family outdoors on a warm October day.
“We’re here to have fun. We’ll start together and finish together,” said Chrisilyn Lester, 39, of Colorado Springs, running with a group of women she met at a kickboxing class. They have become regulars at local fun runs, motivating each other to exercise and get out into the community while their husbands are deployed.
Matthew Kimminau, 9, of Security, was racing for the first time, following in the footsteps of his dad, Mike, a regular at runs in the Pikes Peak region. “It was fun; yeah, I’d do it again,” Matthew said after the race, his cheeks flushed with the heat.
His mother, Yvonne, and brother, Ethan, 5, formed the nucleus of a family cheering squad at the finish line, yelling and clapping as Matthew crossed the finish line in 33 minutes, 40 seconds.
Race winner Paul Mann, 35, of Colorado Springs, finished in 17:15.82, spurred on by second-place runner William Dillon, 32, of Colorado Springs (17:19.55). It was about 70 degrees for the 11 a.m. start, which slowed many of the runners, said third-place finisher Mike Killam, 30, of Colorado Springs.
Lead female runner Lori Stich, 42, of Colorado Springs, a marathoner, called the race “brutal,” not only because of the heat, but because it was her first race since an achilles’ injury a month ago.
“It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but I could definitely feel (effects of) the month off,” she said.
Stich, who finished in 21:36.98, may have paid for a bit of ill-timed competition against son Andrew Oblude, 16, who finished in 22:03.59. “We came out too fast. I didn’t want him to get ahead of me, and he didn’t want me to get too far ahead of him,” she said with a laugh.
Anna Kharlamova, 27, of Colorado Springs, was the second woman across the finish line, in 22:05.06; Janna Habeck, 35, of Colorado Springs, was third (23:39.99).
A group of runners sporting "Designated Drinkers" T-shirts said the run was a great excuse to get outside together. There were 10 members of the group at Saturday's run - family members and friends who are "chosen family" who get out for exercise and to support local charities.
Asked if they’d return in 2013, another group of fun-loving runners hoisted their commemmorative race beer steins and said, “Ja!”