September 2021 Strider

peach ice cream
16 Sep, 2021

t h e   s t r i d e r

Distance Runners have always been socially-distanced edition

In this issue:  Breaking Bad !  Grand Mesa Ultras! (Austin Anderson is a GMU winner)  Kokopelli Trail Runs! (Bernie B “is ba-a-ack!” & Stacie Brennise wins the Long Race)  Crag Crest! (Austin A wins this also)  Almost SIX-HUNDRED runners in Just Peachy 5k !

Thanks to Tom Ela for contributions to this edition

July 10:  The Breaking Bad Dirt Duathlon came back as hot and trashy and competitive as last year. It featured an exciting sprint finish as Lexi Van Roekel tried her best to hold off Rich Connors over the last quarter mile but Rich got her at the end by about half a wheel length. They were followed by Esmeralda Rostel and Michelle Oberndorf as the women took 3 of the top 4 places. Fantastic! Lexi had the fastest run time overall and David Vindiola was fastest on the bike as the biking member of a relay team.

            Everyone that raced last year took time off for both the run and the bike. Should we credit course experience? Some fine desert citizen removed the flags from a section of the bike course but fortunately nobody got lost. An alien was spotted on the course but I don’t think it was responsible. Ray Jensen went all out again this year outfitting both bike and body appropriately and providing the Breaking Bad soundtrack on the boom box to capture the Spirit Award. Scott Bierman was looking seriously rustic to give him some competition!

            Unique awards made from found objects were again handed out. There’s a new sign out there along the road now that says “Conserve Ammo”. No one is taking that to heart by the looks of the award items found.

               (See MMS website for complete results, splits, etc.)  21 finishers ~ and, yes, it was a sprint finish:  1. RICH CONNORS (37), 1:35:56   2. LEXI VAN ROEKEL (30), 1:35:57

3. Esmeralda Rostel (35), 1:38:34   4. Michelle Oberndorf (28), 1:40:41   5. Sean Meissner (47), 1:40:58   6. Tim Davis (46), 1:44:51

MMS Directors meeting, July 13:  8 directors were in attendance.  We talked of the (then) upcoming Grand Mesa Ultra, recruiting volunteers, etc.  Tom reported on the just-held annual MMS picnic:  “We ate lots, drank lots, sweltered.”  The MMS Timing Crewe had the (then) upcoming Kokopelli runs to assist at, and also a Palisade event in October, the Rimrock Marathon & 1/2M; and Santa Cause.  Corey reported that there was “nothing new to report” regarding trail-work, etc.  She was considering organizing a “trail work day” later this year.


               Striders are recruiting sag wagon drivers for the Tour of the Moon bike tour, Sat. 9/25. For providing this service the Tour makes a generous donation to the club. Please help with this valuable fundraiser if you have a vehicle that can carry two or more bikes and some time to spare. It's a fun day being an ambassador for our beautiful area and our great club!

            For more info call or text Tom, 970-773-3124

Striders T-shirts are available again for $20. Pick one up at a group run or contact Karla at 
[email protected].

Please note that we are trusting that if you show up for group runs or events, you are either vaccinated or you will adhere to recommended safety protocols of masking and distancing. Thanks for keeping the community healthy!

The M M S Directors, currently, are:

KARLA NEPHEW – President (& Jaguar-Timing-System).

ANDY WINNEFELD – Vice-President (& frequent medical insight).

TOM ELA – Membership (among many other things).  ROSCO BETUNADA – Secretary, NL.

LARRY INGRAM -- Calendar, Race Director Consultant.  MARTIN WIESIOLEK -- Web Site &.

SHERYL DOUGLAS (former President).   COREY HINMAN (GVTA Liason).

K M (mystery occasional semi-secret agent), consultant on any-&-everything.

CONRAD COLE – Treasurer & Purchaser of Stuff.

Chasing the Sky is the story of Doug and Melinda McCaw’s trail run of the entire 490-mile Colorado Trail the summer of 2020. The couple ran the trail in 18 consecutive days starting on July 16, 2020. The run was a personal challenge to see what they could accomplish that turned into a fundraiser to help support Kids Aid Backpack Program and Intermountain Adventist Academy.

Come watch this film and help raise funds for these worthy non-profits that help elevate kids!

October 14 at CMU Meyer Ballroom - 6 pm   October 27 at Picture Show Theater - 6 pm

Tickets can be purchased at

There may be Striders ultra-runners present at one or both to talk and answer questions.

For submissions for next newsletter:  Email articles to [email protected]

Doesn’t have to be a ‘submission’!  Let me know of O-missions, etc.

or ‘regular’ mail to MMS, c/o Betunada, 230 Sunset Hills, Grand Jct., CO  81503



Note: all phone numbers “970” unless indicated otherwise  

               Saturday, September 18   Desert Edge Triathlon (Sprint, Olympic and Dirt)
Highline Lake State Park, Loma

            Saturday, September 18   Mountain Rats Trail Runs (55K, Marathon, Heavy Half), Eagle

            Saturday, September 18   Golden Bears Ears 30K and 55K, Monticello, UT

            Sunday, September 19   Lead King Loop 25K, Marble

            Saturday, September 25:  Emma Coburn’s ELK RUN 5K, Crested Butte !

We are back in Crested Butte, CO with the 5th year of Emma Coburn’s Elk Run 5k and I wanted to offer a discount to your club members if they wanted to race!  Elk Run is a 5k road race that benefits a local cancer-support charity, Living Journeys. We have donated $140,000 so far in our years hosting the race and have been able to provide a really fun race day environment for all of our racers. We

have live music, food and drinks. Lots of fun. Again, the date is September 25th in Crested Butte, CO at 10am.  We also have a Virtual race option, where people can race anywhere in the world. On race day, they just race whenever they like and post a photo on social media.

            The registration fee is $50 but we can give $10 off discount to your club members that want to race. Let me know if you’re interested. Club members can register online for either Virtual or In Person at  <

            Sat., Sept 25:  see earlier notice regarding the bicycle Tour of The Moon.  Several MMStriders have volunteered for this event in the past as sag-wagon support.

            Sat. Sept. 25:  Foster Alumni Mentors (FAM) is excited to announce our 4th annual FAMpoint5k (.5k) fundraising event. You heard that right, one half of a kilometer, or a nice, easy-breezy third of a mile. We had such a great turnout last year of those who actually enjoy running that we will be offering the 5k option as well!

            On Saturday, September 25th, 2021, over 100 volunteers, board members and community members will come together (and virtually!) to celebrate another year of service to the Grand Valley and bring awareness to the ongoing challenges youth face as they emancipate from foster care without family to help them navigate the transition to adulthood.  Choose 0.5k or 5k!   Midway donut station   Music   Silent Auction   Charley's Cookies
Post Race Celebration!   COOL SWAG!

Saturday, October 9   Arches Marathon, Half and 15K, Moab, Behind the Rocks   The Arches Half (ex The Other Half) expands and will be a trail run! (which, as you have probably already surmised, WAS NOT in prior years).  Yeah, trails!

October 9:  GRAND VALLEY HALF-MARATHON (& 5K & 10k)

Grand Valley Half Marathon – Western Colorado Half Marathon

Looks to be a very well-supported running event. Entry prices are reasonable ($25 - $60k, depends on distance)  -- start times:  8:00 ½ M, 8:30 10k, 8:45 5k.

Group training run every Monday, 6 PM
9/20 Pollock Canyon Trailhead, run Pollock Bench Loop
9/27 Mary's Loop Trailhead, I-70 Loma Exit   10/4 Devil's Canyon Trailhead

10/11 Pollock Canyon Trailhead, run Flume Canyon Loop
We will rotate through these four locations in this order through the season. For all but Mary's Loop, take Colo Hwy 340 south from Fruita across the river and turn right at Kings View Rd. Follow through in the subdivision and onto the gravel road. Devil's Canyon parking is soon after on the left, Pollock parking is a couple of miles further on the left.
We run in all conditions. Like the Thursday night group, this is casual and all abilities are welcome with various distances to choose from.  Tom 

For you early birds! Group training run every Wednesday, 6 AM
Tabeguache Trailhead on Monument Road (aka Lunch Loops)
Hosted by Cathy and/or Susan

Group training run every Thursday, 6 PM
Tabeguache Trailhead on Monument Road (aka Lunch Loops).  We'll be out there rain or shine. As always, this is casual and all shapes and speeds are welcome with various routes to choose from. We'll look out for you.  Questions: Tom 

MORE running websites: ( SJMR )    San Juan Mountain Runners, 631 S. 2nd Street, Montrose, CO  81401  

West Colorado GIRLS ON THE RUN: 

Steamboat Springs: – this site should show all you need to know about most (or all!) the Steamboat-area races.  Get on their e-mailing list! (road runners clubs of america)  and   colorado runner:

Support the underwriters / sponsors of the MESA-MONUMENT STRIDERS:


The following:  Summit Canyon Mountaineering, ALPINE AUTO-HAUS, the FOOT SUPPORT GROUP, WEBCREATE.COM, and Dr. Andy Mohler, family practice, have assisted in keeping membership costs lower than they could be. 

And:  they support running in the Grand Valley (& elsewhere).  Support them if you can!

ALPINE AUTO-HAUS, 539 BOGART LANE – (970) 248-8004

Consider this auto-repair/servicing shop – especially for your Audi or BMW or VW or MINI ~

FOOT SUPPORT GROUP  Foot/gait/orthotics/bracing/modification specialists 

“European Craftsmanship – Biomechanical Design”  3212 F Road, Clifton, CO  81520

888-242-3881     or, in the 970 area code:  434-2727  

Summit Canyon Mountaineering  461 Main Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501   (970) 243-2847 

Dr. Andy Mohler, family practitioner – with the Primary Care Partners PC, 3150 N. 12th (G.J., 81506), 245-1220

WEBCREATE.COM – just as it appears:  need help with your website? [email protected]

July 18:  We had a great turnout for the 2021 edition of the Crag Crest Run. In the foreground of the photo, (check MMS website, ‘race results’ section for photo, etc.) Ardy Sileissner is itching to get off leash and go for it! He was the first to see the bear that crossed the trail shortly before the last intersection. Dad Sean, Mark and Kyle all confirmed the sighting. The Crest as always gets the adrenaline pumping too and the wildflowers were glorious. This was a counterclockwise year. A number of runners took time off of their last year's times but the jury is still out regarding whether this direction is faster. The crowd seemed to enjoy it more this way.

Austin Anderson is in great shape and led the pack in an excellent time. Lexi Van Roekel put a nice gap on the other women to win that division and was 7 minutes faster than last year. Ben Hauschulz gets an asterisk for arriving late and giving everyone about a 4+ minute head start. Savannah Drews is still precocious and finished another long race unaccompanied only getting just a little bit lost. Her sis Cheyanne is impressive also. Both take after their speedster dad, Josh. This run should serve as a fitting taste of what's to come at the Grand Mesa Ultras in two weeks.

            There were 46 finishers.  1.  AUSTIN ANDERSON (26), 1:27:14   2. Joel Homan (40), 1:39:21   3. Zenon Reece (16), 1:41:50   4. Ben Hauschulz* (36), 1:42:35  

5. Josh Drews, (37), 1:44:40   6. Ian Rogers (27), 1:46:58   7. LEXI VAN ROEKEL (30), 1:47:28

8. Scott Vig (46, 2nd master, see #2), 1:48:20   10. Danni Homan (30, 2nd F), 1:51:44


 July 31, GRAND MESA ULTRA(S): almost 150 runners participated in 3 separate events – 31 opting for 50-miles of fun, 49 in the 55k (about 34+ miles), and 65 finished the 30k.

            HOLDEN RENNAKER (from Durango, age 30) won the long run, 8 hours and 34 minutes (& 36 seconds) of effort.  10 minutes back was Will Davis (27, Ft. Collins).  BEN HAUSCHULZ (Gee-Jay) was 3rd, 9:02:40.  4th was Master’s Fastest, Glenn Steckler (only 56, T’ride), 9:29.  Fifth was lady’s fastest, JULIA SNIEDER (Golden, 29), 9:33.  Women’s runner-up was Kristin Louderback (Boulder, 39), 10 hours, 13 min.  Finishing 10th was Josh Drews (G.J., 37) – 10:37.  Coming in a couple hours later were G.V. runners Lukas Miley and Mark Lestico (12 hours & some).

            RYAN NEELY (Draper Utah, age 32) was fastest in the 55k, 4:44:17.  Next finishers were the two top women, AMANDA SCOTT (Erie (CO), 33) in 5:17:08; and the mysterious lady “UNKNOWN” (but she was from Utah) in 5:37:25.  4th was Grand Junction resident CALEB HARAWAY (25), 5:48:47.  Local finishers included Gene West (40, 2nd Master), 6:25; Tarah Flahaven (6th woman, 30), 7:38; Scott Ingram (age 40) was 35th, 8:43; followed by Joe Evans, 8:48; and Nicole Sturrock, 9:30.

            The 30k was relatively popular, with 65 survivors.  The Grand Valley had a winner in this event, AUSTIN ANDERSON (age 26) with 2:27:14 of fun.  He was 20 minutes ahead of Cam Braatan (Highlands Ranch).  In 6th place was women’s winner MEGAN FLANAGAN (Golden, 26), 3:09:35.  2nd-place female was G.J. resident TRACY THELEN (40, also F Master’s fastest), 3:22:32 – good for 7th over-all.  Hunter Rief (G.J., 23) was 8th, 3:26:00.  Esmeralda Rostel (yes, G.J.) was 9th finisher, 3rd woman, 3:26:01.  Martin Wiesiolek was men’s Master’s winner (2nd over-all master after Tracy T, but she is 15 years younger!), 13th, 3:32:20.  Martin actually tied with 4th-woman (and also a “master”) Stacie Brennise (Arizona).  Other Grand Valley finishers were Teddy Martinez (46), 3:44 and 17th; Meredith Evans was 19th over-all (age 32), 3:45; Dan Ben-Horin (41), 3:51; followed by Kayla Rhodes, Ernie Langelier, Rachel Cambray, Rachel McCarthy, John O’Riordan, Andreya & Michael Krieves, Braden Chutka, John Osler, Laura Venner, Nicholas Byers, and Ashley Ahlholm.


August 28, the KOKOPELLI CLASSIC Trail Runs This year’s Koko Classic had 58 finishers scattered across 3 distances: Half marathon, 8-mile and 5K. The routes were revamped this year and did not use the frontage road. That made for a harder but more scenic race. I heard several say the routes were great and didn’t hear any complaints. Talented women showed up in force winning outright both the half marathon and 5K (Shae Peterson and Stacie Brennise respectively). Old legend Bernie Boettcher emerged from a long local race hiatus to win the 8-mile. Great to see him in action again! Kudos to Mary and Dennis Young for still getting it done 78 years young. Full results can be found on the Striders webpage.

               An earlier version of the “Kokopelli” had/has been conducted since the … well, 1990’s (you younger folks, remember the ‘1900’s?).  Called “Mary’s Loop” originally, an 8-mile trail race.  Now with Mesa-County-Search-&-Rescue (MCS&R) sponsorship, this event has become “these events” with 3 separate races this year.

            The 5k (according to a friend) was “more than tough” – featuring (if I remember correctly) a rigorous uphill first half, with the corresponding “down” almost as bad because if one caught a toe and tripped … well, most of us have “been there, done that” and would really like to NOT do that again. 

1.  Shae Peterson (age 25, also women’s race winner!), 36:11   2. Terry Carter (44), 37:45   3. Mark Gomez (56), 40:09   4. Jan Meister (56), 40:26   Those perpetual Young kids (Mary & Dennis, only 78 years in this incarnation) were 14th & 15th places.

            8-mile.  Out of 25 finishers, only 3 were NOT ‘masters’ (under 40).  Note a similar, well, note for the 13-mile ~  BERNIE BOETTCHER (only 58) won, in 59:30.  BEN HAUSCHULZ  (winner of the scantily-attended under-40 age group) was next in 62:08.  Next was women’s winner CATRINA SALAZ (40) in 1:19:36, followed by Diana Williams (42), 1:19:54.  5th was Matthew Terwilliger (40), 1:22:17; Rich Tuttle (59) was 6th, 1:25:31; next was 2nd-place woman Susan Drake (only 64), 1:25:54; and Jeannie Grooms (65), 1:29:24.  Dan Williams (only 77!) was 9th, 1:30:56.  And 10th place was the winner for the women’s under-40 age group, Megan Sand (1:31:46).

            Half-Marathon:  STACIE BRENNISE (age – 53) not only was fastest lady, but won the toughest race of the day – 2:11:22.  Gregory Jack Kammerer (am I alone in thinking this moniker is … not exactly ‘contrived’ but a resonance from a parallel dimension?) trotted in a minute-&-a-half later (2:12:48) and is a few years ‘more-seasoned’ than Stacie.  Third was Diarmuid Truax (another over-50 citizen), 2:13:46.  Steve Johnson (4th, in 2:14:53) won the under 40 age group.  Tyson Bowing (33) was 5th, 2:20:03.  Second Female was Dawn Gwinn (54), 10th over-all, 2:31:52.  Grand Valley finishers under or at 2:30 were Lukas Miley, Ryan Grube, John O’Riordan, and Ernie Langelier.

August 21 – “JUST PEACHY” 5K, in, of course, PALISADE

            Almost 400 women and more than 200 men participated in the “Peachy”.  This has to have been the “most popular” running event in River City for, well, since that covid thing.  (However, if the Firemen have their Turkey Run … eh, that’s another (& future at that) story.)

WOMEN:  DANNI HOMAN won with an excellent 17:22 (7th over-all) followed by ‘Master’ (age 40) KARA ROPER (18:09, 12th over-all).  Note: 6th woman LEXI CHELLE (58 years young) ran an excellent race for 2nd-place Women’s Masters.

  1. Homan (35), 17:22                  2. Roper, 18:09           3. Lindsay Parsons (21), 19:31

4. Alyssa Britton (19), 19:31               5. Ashlynn Squires (19), 19:56           6. Lexi Chelle, 20:09

7. Erica Maestas (18), 20:10              8. Elaina Arcand (18), 20:11              

9. Katrina Heide (18), 20:20               10. Kendall White (18), 20:27

Age Groups: 20-29:  Roni Pasi, 21:14           2. Karly Garster, 21:29

30-39: Homan; 2. Dusty Reimer, 21:03; 3. Melinda Frandsen, 21:13

40-49: Tawny Espinosa, 22:02; 2. Malissa Squires, 22:09

50-59: Chelle;  2. Dawn Gwinn, 23:16           60+ Jeanie Grooms, 28:07; 2. Julianne Shepherd, 30:53

MEN:  ETHAN ABBS ran a pretty good 15:44, with CARL ARNOLD (age not given) 10 seconds back.  6th-place GRANT ROPER and 9th-place GANNON WHITE were the two top “Master’s”.

  1. Abbs (20), 15:44               2. Arnold, 15:54                      3. Shawn Lindom (35), 16:33

4. Shane Niksic (28), 17:05          5. Chris Sovacool (35), 17:06             6. Roper (41), 17:08

7. Mark Testa (21), 17:41             8. Will Shenk (22), 17:41        9. White (45), 18:04

10. Ian Rogers (27), 18:04

Age Groups:  under 20: Christopher Chelle, 19:43 2. Asher Livingston (12), 22:32

30-39: Lindom; 2. Sovacool; 3. Jereme Leafe, 18:31

40-49: Roper, White         50-59: Matthew Scoggins, 23:06; 2. Mark Spoon, 24:16

60+:  John Ferguson, 22:56; 2. David Younger, 23:16