December 2020 Strider

December 2020 The Strider
24 Dec, 2020

Thanks to Dr. Paul Wubben, Corey Hinman, Conrad Cole, and Tommy Toast for contributions to this edition


(Paul Wubben provides reflections on what, for many of us, will be “ancient history” of Running Events & Races in the Grand Valley.  Thanks so much, Dr. W!)

            Norm Ashley, long-time Symphony concert-master and teacher, came to G.J. in 1967.  He immediately formed a Jr. High girl’s running club that, among other places, ran up Ute Canyon to the “Fallen Rock” area.

            He staged the first races in 1968 (I think) – 1.5- and 3-milers from Mesa Grande (on the “ridges”) east.  I started running there the next year.  He also had a run off Little Park Road that began about a mile south of the BLM parking lot we use now for the Widowmaker runs.  There is now a major 2-track road east to Whitewater at that starting line.  His route followed the old Little Park Road (east of the highway) north about a mile then circled back to the east and south.

            About 1972 he left town, temporarily, giving me his equipment – including tongue(depressor)-blades (which we still use), ribbons, racing forms, and timer.  We put on more races in the Ridges but eventually went to the desert north and west of the Airport off of 27 ¼ Road.

            Larry Ingram, also in the ‘70’s, staged races from his house and along the river-front – plus he had a “Do It In The Dirt” combination cycle-&-run on the North Desert.

            Other race-organizers included Dr. Brewer (Pediatrician), and a Monument Half-Marathon that began at the parking lot east of H.Q., went south over the top half-way to the Glade Park Turn-off and back.  Also, Dr. Pat Page put on runs up Kannah Creek, Turkey Flats, and Crag Crest.

            As you know, running can provide (temporarily) a respite from various cerebral ruminations, i.e. a sort of equanimity and heightened sense of self-worth.  Absolutely important is (are) the friendships with other runners.  Priceless!

            In a personal way, 52 years of “running” has made for large areas of sun-damaged skin, thinning hair, weight loss (really skinny), and increased borborygmus (intestinal gas).  A runner or walker has to straighten up, and has to suck in his/her gut so as to reduce lumbar lordosis (sway-back).  Incidentally, I have had very little success in selling this advice to innumerable patients regarding lower back pain.

            Go figure!

(Ed. Notes:  I remember my first races in the G.J. area in 1978 – Dr. W’s “Triple Jump” in the desert north of the airport, and Larry I’s 6-mile Turkey Predict at his house. I got to know Larry a bit better the following day as I used his garage to re-build a mailbox-post of a neighbor of his.  I ran over the mail-box with my car while driving away after the race.)

Here are the notes from the 8/25 GVTA meeting that Corey Hinman attended.


  • Lunch Loops Parking Area - Additional updates coming- kiosk and shade shelters.
  • Palisade Plunge Trail - First phase is expected to be completed by mid-September. A 6 mile section of phase 2 has been completed (165 across the Mesa and down to Lands End rd).
  • 18 Road Trails - BLM crew is working on the new staging area along with 25 new campsites. 20-25 miles of new trails will be built. New trail will be more conducive to events/races.
  • 27 ¼ Road - Phase 2 of improvements project left to go and involves new fencing, offloading ramps and shade shelters.
  • Skyway Trails - A COPMOBA crew was up at Skyway recently working on trail improvements for mountain bike usage.
  • Pine Gulch Fire - No word yet on when the trails adjacent to and impacted by the fire activity will be reopened. It sounds like the Sarlacc trail did not sustain much, if any damage. Most of the new single-track trail area was impacted by the fire (Cloud City, Skywalker, Cicada). The BLM believes much of the trail structure on impacted areas is likely still intact. For impacted areas, they are planning seeding efforts to propagate growth and planning to build in additional erosion control features.

Here are the notes from the GVTA meeting I attended on Tuesday, September 29th:


  • Pine Gulch Fire - BLM is working on restoration efforts: pulling in dozer lines, drainage work to prevent excess sediment migration, etc. The BLM is considering opening the trails up again in the near future but has not yet set a date.
  • Mesa County secured a 300K Covid related grant from GoCo to use for local non-motorized trail maintenance projects.
  • 18 Road Area - New signage and camping area expansion projects in progress.
  • UTV Vehicles - Group discussed the increasing number of UTV vehicles on motorized trails. Talked about the speed of some of the UTVs being an issue. Ideas to help with the issue were trailhead signage reminding users to be courteous, meeting with shop owners to make them aware of the issue and asking that they help educate UTV users on proper etiquette. 

And, currently (mid-November), Corey summarizes:  we decided to pause trail work days for the remainder of the year due to COVID. We will evaluate again in the new year and can hopefully resume!

MMS Directors meeting -->  August 11 – via Zoom.  Yes, un4t-unately, we set a record in the time-lapse between meetings. Our next ZOOmeeting will be 3 months (not 4) after the previous. 

     Anyhow:  BIG $$$ for the MMS in that, in spite of the “600# simian in the, if not room, on the planet” high-schools decided that we/they could have CROSS-COUNTRY competitions, and … we were approached by two local H.S.C.C. coaches (Robb Reece and Jay Valentine – very familiar running-community names, eh?) to time and score 7 local meets.  Covid-measures were effected, e.g., 25 runners per “wave”, no more than 7 schools at these G.J.-area meets, etc.  The editor was not involved (I would probably have messed things up, somehow) – but I/we am/are glad to say that the MMS personnel & other volunteers managed to do an excellent job of timing and scoring all 7 meets – somehow accommodating parameters such as accurate timing of runners in each race, regardless of intervals between each wave starts; and also having the Jaguar system “know” who was on what team, etc.  Does the membership have any “wish-list” items we could purchase?

            Conrad presented the “financial report”, little change – and this was before the HSCC monetary infusion.  There were questions about the MMS website accommodating credit-cards for memberships, etc. – and accommodating paypal, etc., and etc.  Yes, there was the inevitable discussion of which of our cherished local running events being postponed, if not cancelled.  (Drat! The editor actually looked forward to being part of the finish-line assistance at the RimRock Marathon.  NEXT YEAR! Right?)

            Corey reported on Grand Valley Trails Alliance, and at that time hoped for an early October MMS/BLM trail-work day.  We were to have asked for MMS help on the Sarlac Trail (above the 18-Road system).  Corey later reported that the remaining GVTA meetings for the year have been cancelled. Will resume at some point in the new year once group activities are safe to proceed with.


            Larry Ingram later wrote: “I had hoped to be able to put on our little Strider 5 Mile Time Trial on Dec. 19 but like with the Turkey Predict the virus has won that race also so we need to put out that it is cancelled.  Also for future reference for any event that even goes thru the State Parks they are getting nasty about paying a fee.  Jay V. got stopped when his Fr. CC team was running training runs thru and around Connected Lakes and was allowed to pay a group fee that covered the CC meets there also.  Did you notice in the paper about the new fee for walkers and bikers?” – and it seems that our usual annual Strider Schedule (Calendar insert/summary) which is sent to all MMS members will probably be “a bit later” in being assembled/sent-out, due to afore-mentioned 600# thingy.


 MMS members can access the following for running-related “special deals”  at
Password: ask for one if you are an active member and haven't received it
Or go to the website and look for "Special Deals" under the "Contact" menu item and login with the password. These deals are for members only so the password should not be shared.

            Currently we have 8 discounts available to members:

Backbay          Gemini Adventures               Loki Outdoor clothing           Mad Moose events

Red Canyon Running Company                   Running Warehouse             Zealios

Summit Canyon Mountaineering

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).    CONRAD COLE – Treasurer.

ROSCO BETUNADA – interim temporary acting Secretary, Newsletter.

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.

If you already haven’t, CHECK THE NEW UPGRADED website !

Cover your dome with a new Striders trucker cap! Yes, you've seen them on the heads of Striders and now you can get the new updated version for only $15. Contact Tom, [email protected] or text/call 970-773-3124          

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

Did you know that you can opt-out of the paper version of the newsletter and get an email version?  Just let Tom or Karla know!  (But if you’re an old-fashioned dinosaur (like the editor), continue w/paper ~)


  • Questions about Grand-Valley-Trail Alliance? Reach out to Corey at 707-933-6328 or [email protected] with trail work or GVTA-related questions or eventual trail crew leader training.

C A L E N D A R ?

Note: all phone numbers “970” unless indicated otherwise

Mad Moose is still putting on live races in Moab. Reports are that these are being done in a safe and responsible manner so jump in if comfortable with that.
Saturday, Nov 21, Dead Horse Ultras 50 Mile, 50K, 30K

Dec. 12, Saturday, 10 a.m.  Santa Cause 5k, G J P & R, 254-FUNN  This is tentative! So call and/or wait for update(s).

The Grand-Mesa-Nordic-Council is conducting the annual WinterStart 5k, classic or skate CROSS-COUNTRY SKI RACE, virtual.   Entrants have a 9-day span to ski the course and submit a time, date was Dec 12 for actual race but virtual race will include that weekend plus the week either before or after to still be determined. Check

The GMNC has other cross-country ski events scheduled:

Jan. 10 @ Skyway is the Grand Mesa Classic, 10K (Sunday)

            Skyway Skuffle, freestyle 15K/5K, Saturday Feb 20

            Mesa Meltdown, freestyle 20K/5K, Sun Mar 21 – for all of these you can also contact Tom Ela ([email protected] or 970-773-3124

Registration has opened for the Desert Rats Trail Running Festival, April 16-18.
50K, Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K options on our beloved Kokopelli Trail system.
***Please note that if you chose to rollover your cancelled 2020 entry you MUST still register on Ultrasignup for 2021. If the races sell out and you haven't officially registered you will miss out on the event!***


Tom (Señor Toast) says:  Into the deep dark! New Covid guidelines in Mesa County force us to again suspend our Strider group runs until the surge diminishes. This is sad but the only responsible alternative since the new guidelines dictate groups to be limited to 10 max from no more than 2 different households. Let's stay safe and healthy! If your habit is so ingrained that you continue to show up, please maintain distance and be overly cautious. The Striders gang has once again proven to be amazingly generous to this hobbled up host! Many, many thanks and I hope to run with our fantastic gang again soon!
     More Covid cancellations:  Nov 21 Strider Tom Turkey Prediction Run
Nov 26 Fire Fighters Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K

Group training run every Monday,  6 PM - SUSPENDED until further notice
Group training run every Thursday,  6 PM - SUSPENDED until further notice
Group training run every Sunday,  8:30 AM - SUSPENDED until further notice

     Madame President says: The new Mesa County Public Health orders that have recently gone into effect limits Outdoor sporting events and Gatherings to 10 or less people. This is the same regulations that were put forth in March when we paused our group runs.  I felt that for a while during the summer, Striders were doing a very good job with social distancing -- but as time went on people were getting more and more relaxed. The last trail run was especially bad, with many people standing basically shoulder-to-shoulder around the fire pit. I can see this happening as people are hanging out on patios under heaters.  That scene, my Uncle dying from covid-19 and Mesa County numbers rapidly increasing have made me stop joining the group runs.   

For more info, pictures and posts: 

Run to Whitewater


The weather was perfect for the Run to Whitewater on that Sunday morning. The early group starting at 7am had seven runners. Twenty more started an hour and a half later. Roscoe and I hiked up to be the aid station three miles in from the finish at Highway 141 in Whitewater. Two of the so-called slower group met us before we got into position. In a panic, I called Kim to see if she was at the finish line because, “they were already coming”. She was at home cutting up oranges. But she was able to beat the two fast ladies there and able to click their times. It was warm enough that the Almond Joy’s tried to melt. Seems folks preferred Pay Days anyhow. By the time we left, a new stone figure popped up in the bushes to oversee the course.

It seems the records were stored on a back-up disc for a previous desktop computer. My 70-year-old, and perhaps unreliable memory, believes that Kevin Koch was men’s record holder with a time of 2:06 something from like 15 or 20 years ago. Women’s best time happened last year by Lexi VanRoekel with a 2:36:04. This time around, three young men bested the 2:06 mark. Obviously, they didn’t have time to hang out at the aid station. Adam Feigh held off Ryan Sullivan and Max Robinson to be the new King of the Tabeguache. Looks like his training for R2W which included 18 hours on the bicycle the weekend before really paid off.

We had no idea how many participants to expect. Part of me thought of the pent-up demand with all the canceled races this year would increase turnout. The other part realized that offering no shuttle service due to pandemic would be a hardship on many who would like to have been there and thus decrease turnout. It appears to have been more of the latter. Hopefully, we will not have such concerns next year.


Run to Whitewater   17.7 Miles on the Tabeguache   10/18/2020

1          Adam Feigh                            2:02:25           2          Ryan Sullivan                         2:02:47

3          Max Robinson                        2:04:03           4          James Roche                          2:09:43

5          Grant Roper                           2:16:09           6          Joel Homan                            2:18:55

7          Kevin Koch                             2:20:26           8          Rich Connors                         2:28:19

9          Eric Hemsted                         2:33:20           10        Nathan Oglesby                     2:37:14

11        Danni Homan                         2:44:04           12        Sean Meissner                       2:49:50

13        Levi Hamer                            3:05:52           14        Kat Robinson                         3:16:41

15        Esmerelda Rostel                  3:20:08           16        Laura Venner                        3:21:06

17        Karla Nephew                        3:24:01           18        Will Parrish                            3:24:51

19        Marissa Asplund                    3:28:00           20        Gina Silva                               3:32:28

21        Dawn Gwin                             3:33:24           22        Eric Krch                                3:35:10

23        Evan Rich                               3:35:29           24        Scott Holmeier                       4:02:47

25        Nicole Sturrock                     4:04:14           26        Ray Jensen                             4:04:46

27        Sheryl Douglas                      5:25:59          



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]

If any reader (or, heck, even if YOU DON’T READ this) has somewhat pertinent photos of local or even remotely related to local-running photos, consider sending them in to website/facebook, and maybe even [email protected]

November 14, Saturday, Kasey Sutherlin (an MMS member from nearby Moab) was the 1st -place woman (& 3rd over-all) in the Pass Mountain 50K in Mesa, AZ.  She was almost an hour ahead of 2nd-place woman, having enjoyed the course for 4:55:39.  Winning overall, Chad Beyer, 4:20:55.

Striders Danni and Joel Homan excel in Moab!

Arches (Other Half) Half Marathon 10/11/2020:  Danni Homan was the Female Winner, 5th overall and with the 3rd best female time ever on what would appear to be a tougher Covid course than the course for previous years.  Other Grand Valley/MMS finishers:  Ryan Guldan 1:21:04 3rd overall     Danni Homan 1:24:59 1st female   Joel Homan 1:28:31 7th overall

Kara Roper 1:33:00 4th female, 10th overall


Arches 10K, Striders Board Member Andy Winnefeld 1:05:38 34th overall

Moab Trail Marathon (US Trail Marathon Championship) 11/7/2020

Male Winner: Adam Peterman 2:57:04      Female Winner: Allie McLaughlin 3:36:48

Giff Walters 19th 3:50:55   Joel Homan 49th 4:35:14   Danni Homan 50th 4:35:14

Cory Massey 204th 6:32:22   Hogan Peterson 205th 6:32:22

            Trail Adventure 5K 11/7/2020

Zenon Reece 29:49 1st Overall, Palisade High School cross country star

Rebecca Hittle 33:24 1st Female, 3rd overall   Robb Reece 34:34, 4th overall, provider of Zenon's genes (along with Christie!)   Jean Swinehart 1:39:00 54th   Katy Lashell 1:51:13 55th

Trail Half Marathon locals, Saturday   Jere Page 103rd 2:49:54

Trail Half Marathon locals, Sunday   Dee Hammond 37th 2:08:38

Ben Lloyd 76th 2:25:53   Nancy Connell 115th 2:37:35   Rachel Hahn 192nd 2:58:29

Gina Carr 217th 3:05:39   Jimmy Sperling 252nd 3:21:01   Chris Colman 257th 3:23:21

Laura Holien 259th 3:23:45

High School Cross Country season

Striders got the opportunity to time this season’s local high school cross country meets. With the help of many great volunteers, we had fun doing it and got to see the next generation of runners in action. It was pretty much the McGinley Zastrow and Jaydin Heil show. These two Fruita Monument stars won all of their races except one. Jaydin missed race #5 but won the girls side of the other 5 varsity meets. McGinley also won 5 of 6 races and placed 2nd in the last to Durango’s Paul Knight who he beat in race #2. Great showings!

Durango fielded strong teams and won both the boys and girls conference final in the team competition. Central High and Fruita Monument traded team wins in the previous boys races. Fruita Monument girls lost a tie-breaker to Durango in race #3 but otherwise cruised to wins in the lead-up meets.

It was inspiring to see these young runners work hard and improve through the season in a challenging year. The races had to be reduced in size due to Covid and travelling to test against Front Range teams was not allowed. And then there was smoke! Air quality was monitored and snuck in under the mandatory limits but was still difficult. The runners were just happy to able to run and compete when cancellation of the season was always a possibility. Congratulations! You can check out all of the results on our website at


&   crossing the state line to the west:  another note of regional high-school cross-country runners:  (from the most recent Mad Moose email) Kylah Ricks, daughter of the Mad Moose race directors, has won her third consecutive Utah high school 3A cross country championship running for Moab. She placed 2nd as a freshman before the subsequent streak.