From the Vault: On the Run
“New 10K course a boon to runners,” announced The Aspen Times on June 4, 1981. “A field of more than 170 runners started the season’s first town 10 kilometer race Sunday, and the well-staffed, relatively flat course benefited all concerned. Sponsored by Subaru and the Aspen Ski Corp, the race was a benefit for the financially beleaguered community center, which has been the target of some significant county belt tightening. The course looped twice about the town without taking on the infamous Cemetery Lane hill or the grades on Mill Street, as have most 10K courses in previous years, with the result that the winning time was a very respectable 31:31 posted by Frank Mencin. Mencin averaged 5:05 per mile, a good showing at Aspen’s 7,900 feet, considering that former Olympic medalist Frank Shorter beat a field of 9,000 in the Bolder Boulder with a time of 29:30 a week earlier at a lower altitude. Mencin, new to the area racing scene, was trailed by Kim Hartman, a local runner, with a time of 32:13. Hartman, the winner in the Golden Leaf half marathon last year, and Mencin broke to an early lead with two other runners but were all alone by the end of the first loop of 3.1 miles. In the women’s division, Betsy Harrower won both the 40-49 and overall title with a time of 42:35. She was more than two minutes ahead of the next fastest woman, Betsy Farny. Harrower averaged about 6:42 for each mile. Officials were stationed at every turn and time splits were read off at the mile, two mile, 3.1 mile, 4.1 mile and 5.1 mile marks. The photo above shows Jim Jenson running on the new 10K course during the race, 1981.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.