Collegians top chefs in Food & Wine 5K
The Aspen Times
College runners — past, present and future — set the pace at the annual Food and Wine 5K in Aspen on Friday morning.
The collegians, led by a recent graduate of Georgetown and a senior at the University of Montana, beat the field of 350 runners, including an all-star selection of leading chefs.
Charlie King, who just concluded his college running career at Georgetown, won the 5K charity race in a 19:13.
He held on in his first race at high elevation to beat two-time defending champion, teenager Jack Stovitz of Southern California. Stovitz, a recent high school graduate, will attend Harvard next season.
Reagan Colyer, a former Seattle prep standout and current runner at Montana, won the women’s race in another unofficial record time of 21 minutes and change.
“I’m interning in Carbondale this summer, and I was looking for races,” said Colyer, a journalism major who is at Trail Runner magazine this summer. “This elevation is having an effect on my lungs, for sure. I’m usually an 800/mile runner so 5Ks are a little long for me but a good way for me to start my training.”
Colyer, a one-time University of Montana record-holder in the women’s 800 at 2:08.96, also is a former Big Sky Conference champion in the 800.
“I hope to be a food writer one day,” she said. “The Food and Wine Classic, while the tickets for the classic were a little out of my price range, the 5K was something I could afford. I figured I would come up and soak some of this in.”
Colyer, recovering from a steeplechase injury during the spring track season, said she’s happy to be in Carbondale for the summer in an area where she can train at altitude.
“My dad is an alum of Montana,” Colyer, 21, said. “They have a great journalism school and a great running program.”
Friday’s 5K victory was her first race win in the state of Colorado. Just a month ago she competed in Greeley at the Big Sky Championships, just missing a race victory.
She finished just ahead of Aspen’s Ashley Connolly, a local author and former standout athlete at Aspen High School. She also played college volleyball.
Men’s winner King, 21, is living in Aspen for the summer after completing his undergraduate studies at Georgetown.
“I’ve never run at altitude before, so it was a shocker,” said the tall and lanky King, who towered over the competition at the starting line. “As soon as I finished, I made my way over to the oxygen bar.”
King said he plans to run other races in the area this summer, including possibly the July 4 5-miler.
King said he had visited Aspen on snowboarding trips in the past.
And it seemed like a good place to spend a summer running, he added.
In his first race here, he’s a champion.
King had to hold off the two-time Food & Wine 5K winner Stovitz, who also is a California prepster.
Stovitz and his high school cross country team won their regional title this year.
Like King, he’ll head east for college where he intends to walk on to the Harvard cross country team.
The Aspen 5K annual raises money for Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit established to help make fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables available to families everywhere.
Wholesome Wave has now expanded into 40 states, bolstered by the doubling of food-stamp values at farmers’ markets.
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Don’t freak out if you see helicopters hovering over the Roaring Fork Valley backcountry or fixed-wing aircraft making repeated trips. It is part an annual wildlife study by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.