Colorado Springs runner wins men’s 5-miler |

Colorado Springs runner wins men’s 5-miler

Todd Hartley

Kelly Mortenson of Colorado Springs didn’t make any definite plans for the Fourth of July this year. To hear him tell it, he was just looking for a race to run.

Mission accomplished.

Mortenson made the trek up to Aspen for the annual July 4 Boogie’s Diner Aspen Buddy 5 and left the rest of the field eating his dust as he ran the popular five-mile course through Aspen in a blistering 27:37.9.

This year’s race drew a field of 1,228 runners, down slightly from last year. The race was dedicated to the memory of Chris Severy, a talented Aspen runner and University of Colorado All-American who was killed in a biking accident in Boulder last fall.

Severy was a three-time winner of the Aspen Buddy 5, having run to top honors in 1995, ’96 and ’97.

The fact that Mortenson, a five-time college all-American in track and cross-country who ran for Moorehead State in Minnesota, even made it to the race was surprising enough, considering he had never heard of the Aspen Buddy 5 until July 3.

“I was just camping at Turquoise Lake (outside Leadville) and thought I’d drive over,” he said.

Mortenson left the start at Boogie’s Diner in downtown Aspen with a large crowd of other runners in the first wave start, but by about the 1.5-mile mark, he was “doing his own thing,” according to third-place finisher Bobby Stuckey of Aspen.

Mortenson, who typically runs marathons, described the race course as “scenic, but it’s too hilly.”

The hill in question, Heart Attack Hill on Cemetery Lane, came about 2.5 miles into the five-mile race and put a little crimp in Mortenson’s running strategy.

“I was hoping to run a 5:15-mile pace,” he said. “But that hill really took it out of me.”

Still, Mortenson was able to maintain a brisk pace regardless, and finished a full 1:27 ahead of runner-up Chris Keleher of Aspen, who crossed the line in 29:04.9. Keleher was the top finisher among men 30-34.

Stuckey, the sommelier at the Little Nell hotel in Aspen, finished third among men in 30:03.8. He was followed by the top finisher among men 16-19, Rickey Gates, a top prep runner out of Aspen who ran 30:23.5.

Fifth place overall and first in the men’s 50-54 category went to Larry Ingram of Grand Junction, who ran a 30:37.0. Shortly behind him came the top finisher among women, and sixth overall, Dana Boyle of Carbondale.

Boyle, an NAIA All-American for the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., finished the race in 30:48.0.

Another Carbondale resident, Kevin Willson, finished seventh overall and first among men 40-44 by running 31:26.6. Top honors among men 35-39 went to Hector Chavez of Mexico City, Mexico, in 32:12.4.

The men’s 11-15 age group was paced by Chas Salmen of Glenwood Springs, who finished in 11th place overall in 32:31.2. Eric Meyer of Boulder was the top finisher among men 20-24, posting a time of 33:34.4, good for 18th overall.

Jim Andre of Snowmass Village led all men 45-49 by running a 33:47.7, 23rd overall. Another Snowmass Village man, Bill Ranelle, ran 38:32.7 to finish first in the men’s 55-59 age group.

Rounding out the top finishers among men were Warren Ohlrich of Basalt, who ran 36:15.0 to lead men 60-64; Eric Kishbaugh of Parker, Colo., who crossed the line in 43:36.7 as the fastest male under the age of 10; Ron Call of Parachute, tops among men 65-69 in 44:12.0; and John Callahan of Aspen, who paced the 70 and over men with a time of 53:16.3.

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