March 2024 The Strider

Pi Day Run
19 Mar, 2024

T h e   s t r i d e r

In this issue:  Fruita “Sweetheart” a big success!  Valentine’s Massacre refuses to die!  KARA ROPER WINS CANYONLANDS 13 ~ & MAX ROBINSON & GRANT ROPER finish strong!

THANKS to Conrad Cole, Larry Ingram, Susan Drake, Andy W, Karla Nephew, and Tom Ela for contributions

NEXT ISSUE à  send something in !


          Beginning July 1, 2024 membership dues will increase to $30 per individual or $35 per family for those wanting to receive a printed copy of the newsletter. The new membership fee reflects the cost of producing and mailing the newsletter. Dues for a membership with a digital copy of the newsletters will remain $20 per individual or $25 per family. All members will receive one paper copy of the newsletter around January of each year, that contains the financial information and the race calendar.

New U.S. Record indoor 1-mile !  @ the 116th annual Millrose (Indiana) Games – Elle St. Pierre set the U.S. indoor-mile record – 4:16:41 – which is just 0.06 sec. off the outdoor record (!) – And Alicia Monson (tho’ 3rd over-all in the 2-mile) set another U.S. record for the distance – 9:09.7.  The new U.S. men’s 2-mile record was also accomplished.

  VALENTINE’S MASSACRE BEVERAGE-PREDICTION 3 MILE RUN Rosevale Road Course     Saturday, February 17, 2024

          Saturday, February 17, dawned a beautiful blue-bird day though a little cooler and the overnight skiff was missing on the roadway.  All perfect for a hilly 3 mile run and a personal challenge.  A challenge to see how well you could guess your running pace either as a training pace or for a 3 mile race.  So, the question is, how in-tune to your body are you or do the words “event/race” make you run faster than usual?  Then there were the hills, do rather steep ups and downs average out time wise?

          In the nice cupid turn-out of 20 entrants 14 ran under their predictions and 6 were over.  The group was actually pretty good predictors with 9 under a minute and 6 of these under 30 seconds.  Yet none made the all time predictor’s list of under 8 seconds that goes back to 1981 when Jay Krabacher started this craziness at the ”Old Black Bridge” over the Gunnison River by the AEC. 

          The best prediction goes to Nance Docker at 15 seconds over and second to his wife Danelle at 17 seconds under and she confessed this was her first run in a year.  Needless to say they easily won the Valentine candy and first pick of the drinks off the table. (Note, entries for the run were two beverages.)  Their very good 32 second total didn’t surpass the 22 seconds needed to make the event’s top 10 list.  Marshall and Suzie Steel came second at 85 seconds, but back in 2013 they established the couples record at one second off (combined!).  In fourth place Kim and Conrad Cole extended their anniversary record of Conrad’s proposal during the run in 1998 and in 2003 they were a combined 5 seconds off.

          The fastest 3 Miler was Evan Rich (44) in 20:22 with his strong downhill finish.  Second and first lady was “Essy” Martinez Rostel (37) in 21:19.  She holds the 25-29 record at 19:23.  This before continuing her love of running while pregnant or pushing a baby carriage, which always impressed me.


FIRST    Lance Docken    56        22:14  + :15

              Danelle Docken   46      39:43  - :17      :32

2ND        Marshall Steel    63        28:16  - :44

              Suzie Steel       64         24:49  - :41      1:25

3RD        Taylor Valentine   26       23:00  - :27

              Jay Valentine     57 31:12         -2:35      3:02

4TH        Conrad Cole      73        49:47  -4:13

              Kim Cole      66    49:47  -4:13      8:26


1.   Sara Friedman  45       20:22  + :18             2.   “Essy” Rostel       37          21:19  + :19

3.   Bob Thome         69     25:12  - :20            4.   Erik Lionberger  46          28:02  - :29

5.   Clyde Barella       35     24:56  + :46             6.   Sheryl Douglas  73          39:02  + :62

7.   Ernie Langelier  71       27:15   - :75  8.   Sergio Nevarez  40      22:20   -2:40

9.T  CJ Barella        35      24:56   -3:09 9.T  Addy Barella      9      37:01   +3:09

11.  Evan Rich         44      20:22   -3:38 12.  Brad Samuels     31     22:43   -4:17

MMS Directors meeting, January 23:  9 (all) directors were present.  And … our annual interacting with the BLM regarding permits on BLM land – e.g., Run-2-Whitewater, Garfield, etc. – either was conducted already – or, one would think they’d let the Editor know if so.  I might be willing (but not terribly enthusiastic (but, eh, maybe just a little) to attend such …

          The announcement regarding an MMS-member surcharge for those of us remaining “paper people” ~ is earlier in this NL.  It was suggested paper-NL-recipient MMS members pay a few dollars more than annual memberships for the “non-paper” members. 

          Discussed the training & conference regarding our Jaguar Timing System which Tom and Karla attended.  There is/are a couple problems to be resolved.  And … a majority of the directors voted FOR continuing with the present system and the upgrades & etc.  Since then, we have purchased the “G 4” pro Jaguar timing system – trading in our previous system.

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

Doesn’t have to be a ‘submission’!  As usual: let me know of O-missions, etc.  Any out-of-area (weird) races/events members have participated in?  If not emailing, send via ‘regular’ mail to MMS, c/o Betunada, 230 Sunset Hills, Grand Jct., CO  81503

Striders are looking for runners who might train to be trail crew leaders that could lead Strider trail work days improving BLM trails we use and love. This would involve a weekend training in April (13-14 or 20-21) Another option is an online training and a hands-on June 8-9.. If interested or willing please contact Karla:  [email protected]


The M M S Directors 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 & still? Keeper of the Keys). 

CONRAD COLE – Treasurer & Purchaser of Stuff.  MEGAN SAND – “Board Member #9”


(phone #s, if any, are 970-area unless otherwise noted)
    Mar. 23, Behind the Rocks Ultra

Saturday, April 6, 8:30AM   Widowmaker 9.5 and 6-Mile Trail Race
Little Park Staging Area   Up Little Park Rd above the houses, developed parking lot on the left    Striders classic Spring trail race   970-279-3282

Old friend and running legend Buzz Burrell has initiated this new race:
Saturday, April 6, 8AM   Running Up for Air 3, 6 or 12 Hour Trail Race
Moab   Run a 2-mile round trip loop on Stairmaster/Moab Rim Trail as many times as you can within the time limit, 890 feet of gain each loop.

This family-friendly race sponsored by the Colorado Mesa University Alumni Foundation raises funds for student scholarships
Saturday, April 6, 11AM   Mav Days 5K
A closed course through CMU's beautiful campus plus a post-race party!

Sunday, April 14, 8:30AM   Elevate Kids 10K, 5K, 2.5K  

Las Colonias Park (on the Riverfront)

Experience the scenic Kokopelli trails with a distance that matches your comfort level:
April 12-14   Desert Rats Trail Running Festival 100K, 50K, 21K, 10K

Put May 18 on your calendars if you'd like to give back to the Striders. We'll be providing an aid station crew for the Wild Horse Gravelbike Race outside of DeBeque. A signup will appear once I know expected time slots. This earns a nice donation for the Striders budget.

Group training run every Monday, 6 PM

We have now switched to trail running for our weekly group runs. Come enjoy! See the Monday trailhead rotation below.

NOTE: bring a chair to hang out after our trail runs plus some warm clothes. The evenings will continue to be brisk for awhile!
Monday continues to have a "no drop" group that will ensure you don't have to run alone.
3/25 Pollock Canyon Trailhead, run Flume Canyon Loop
4/1 Pollock Canyon Trailhead, run Pollock Bench Loop
4/8 Mary's Loop Trailhead, I-70 Loma Exit

4/15 Devil's Canyon Trailhead
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 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 970-773-3124 

Group training run every Thursday, 6 PM   Tabeguache Trailhead on Monument Road
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 970-773-3124

For more info, pictures and posts:
Messages or to get on or off the list:   Tom Ela 
[email protected]                                    

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, ZEALIOS, WEBCREATE.COM, Dr. Andy Mohler -- family practice, and Dr. Andrew Winnefeld (also 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!

NEW SPONSOR:  Andrew Winnefeld, MD, Family Health West Primary Care

401 Kokopelli Drive, Unit 1, Fruita, CO 81521  (970) 858-9894

          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  

Ask about a possible MMS discount ~ (970) 243-2847   The new owners are rumored to be avid runners.

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]

Dear Striders,

I'm a long-time member of the Striders and not-too-long-ago enjoyed the Bang's Canyon 30K, one of my favorite valley runs. Thanks to all who helped make that race happen.  

I am also a member of Friends of the Mustangs (FOM), a local non-profit group that, in partnership with BLM, monitors and cares for wild horses in the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Area, north of Grand Junction.

A few FOM members recently acquired donkeys. They are training the donkeys for human-donkey running and racing events. FOM is exploring the possibility of putting together a small event this spring where adventurous trail runners could join the donkey-human teams (very few) in a running/hiking event in the Bookcliffs.

Our plans are in the early stages but will likely target the Tellerico trail, at the very end of 25 road as a starting point. From there it is a steep ascent to the trail and road system on top of the Bookcliffs. Monument Rocks is a possible destination/turn around area. The total distance would be between 15 and 20 miles and, like the Bang's canyon run, would be self-supported.

I am hoping some of you will find this as intriguing as I have. There is always a chance of seeing wild mustangs in these areas and the views from the top are stunning.

Keep reading the Newsletter and Tom's weekly posts. I'll provide updates as we work on this project.

My email is: [email protected]. I welcome comments, questions, suggestions and encouragement.

Also, if you want to check out the Friends of the Mustangs website, go to H= (

They are always looking for volunteers. We have fun on the range!

Sincerely, Sue Drake

The Nov. 5 (2023) Rimrock Marathon & ½ had 67 finish the long race, and 258 ran 13.1


          JAMES ROCHE (36) & LINDSAY PARSONS (24) were the over-all and women’s winners for this year’s half-marathon.  James, who ran 1:13:51; was followed by Adrian MacDonald (35), 1:15:09; and 6th-over-all was Master’s fastest Brad Zoller (46), 1:22:02.  Lindsay had a fine 1:19:26 to finish more than 10 minutes ahead of women’s runner-up Emma Kline (27), 1:29:51 and master’s winner Kristin Zoller (43), 1:35:50.  Emma was 15th over-all and Kristin 28th.

          MAX ROBINSON (30) ran a marathon-solo-time-trial in 2:42:19 – “lonely” in that 2nd-place Matt Flattery (31) came in at 3:12:38.  5th over-all was Master’s winner Ryan Turbyfill (44), 3:28:49.  15th and 16th over-all were lady’s #1 and #2, Amy Leininger (30), 3:56:18, paced by Maria Rotello Collins (also 30), 3:56:21.

Feb. 10, the FRUITA “SWEETHEART” (Valentine) 5k and 10k.

The 2024 edition of these races, starting & finishing @ the Fruita Community Center, had quite a few (well, “many”) participants in this early-in-the-year event.  FOUR-HUNDRED-&-FORTY runners/walkers finished the 5k, while a mere 99 negotiated the 10k.

          5k:  over-all winner: LINKOLN BENNET (18), 19:49.  2nd was John Rawlings (40 – Masters fastest), 20:38 and 3rd was 51-years-young Kevin Baker, 20:40.  Women’s top 3 finished 5th, 7th, & 8th over-all.  TAYLOR SKINNER (17) had 20:45 of fun; while Dusti Reimer (masters fastest! Age 40) ran 21:33; and 17-years-young Jayde Golightly ran 22:17.

          10k:  43-years-young GRANT ROPER had a fine 35:12, followed by Shane Niksic (31) 3 minutes back in 38:15.  3rd over-all was women’s fastest (& master/mistress? at that) KARA ROPER, (age 42) 38:46.  Next (4th over-all) was (also ‘master’, 44) Kristina Zoller, 43:28.  5TH was Zachary Ridpath (15), 43:49; and 6th was women’s 3rd-place Lindsay Stansfield (again, another “seasoned” runner, 42) – 44:37.  Cheryl Stahly, 7th with 44:46 won the women’s under-40 category (she is “just 39”).

(brief) commentary / results from MARCH 16 (2024) CANYONLANDS HALF-MARATHON,& 5-MILE

684 hearty souls (and double-that for soles?) finished the recent (yesterday as I type this) Moab-area half-marathon.  Of local interest is that KARA ROPER won the women’s race in 1:24:32.  Only 42-years-young, she holds the master’s record for this race, set in a prior race.  And … MAX ROBINSON (30, from Fruita) was 2nd-over-all.  GRANT ROPER won Men’s Masters.  1. Patrick Smyth (37, SantaFe NM) – 1:04:50.  He holds the course record set in a prior race (but also 1:04-some).  2. Robinson, 1:13:56.  4. G. Roper, 1:16:37  12. Chris Sovacool (also G.J., 35), 1:22:40   14. KARA   16. Josh Eastham, G.J., 1:25:03

18. Brevin Currier, 1:25:57   20. Gannon White, 1:26:36   21. 2nd woman: Brit Kocman (Littleton, 27), 1:26:39.  Other ‘towards-the-front’ Grand-Valley finishers:  Spencer Olson, Cheryl Stahly, Clarrissa Tofel, and Vanessa Lichtenberg.

There were 207 finishers in the shorter race – won by 11-year-old Flora Caputo-Wilkowski (Laramie, WY) in 35:37.  Runner-up was Miles Stanley (18, Seattle), 35:44 and 6th place was 72-years-young Dan Marker (Alb. NM), 38:07