March “news”

*~* by Christian Martin *~*

I’m ready!  With spring on our doorstep, I’m ready to start hitting the trails that Chris Tarman shared in his article, A Trail Report, in the February newsletter. So, I thought I’d share a few personal notes about what I do prior to each run, and whether you’re a novice or expert runner, I hope you’ll get something out of this…at very least, something to consider.

I’ve learned a few things over 45 plus years of running. Oh, and that tidbit of years running does NOT make me an expert, just a dude that has run a lot and has experienced a lot of running injuries. Most of those injuries have been because I didn’t do one thing properly, if at all, before my workouts. And, my last two major surgeries were the direct result of not doing this one thing…Warming up.

Have you ever headed out for a run and it feels like drudgery for the first half mile or so? That’s because our muscles are cold and tight. Cold, tight muscles don’t lend to a pleasant running experience and if you’re new to the sport, that first half mile might deter you from a wonderful new past time. Plus, muscles that have not been properly ‘warmed up’ are more susceptible to injury.  For the sake of brevity, if you’d like more data and research, here’s the google search link on warming up before a run. I found some very insightful articles.

Whether I go for a short 2-mile trot or blast out 10 miles or more, I spend a few minutes warming up these days before heading out. The experts say you should spend about 10 minutes or more warming up, but I’ll be honest, I don’t do that unless I’m gearing up for a big race. Yet, I do something before each run to get the blood flowing to the muscles.

Here are a few things I do beforehand…

*    Jumping jacks. I do 50 of ‘em. It’s simple. It’s easy. It doesn’t take much time.

*    Push-ups. I realize not everyone is going to do push-ups, nor wants to. It’s just something I do to get the blood moving throughout my limbs.

*    Then I skip 20 to 50 yards. Yep, like a little kid. It’s fun. Puts a smile on my face, unless I need to act all adult like in front of others, then I’ll put my big boy face on.

That’s really all I do. If I’m going on a long run, after I skip, then I take it slow for another 50 yards, enjoy nature or maybe some light conversation with someone if I’m running with others.  Then? I usually feel pretty good after my warm-up and can hit my stride fairly quickly.

Here’s a link from for a few more warm-up drills you can try out and see which ones work for you. I’ve tried each one over the years and still use a few when a longer run is calling me.

One caveat, if you’re training for an event, or thinking about doing a serious race where timing and form are of the essence, consult with a professional trainer, they’ll help you take your game to the next level.

How we go about our runs is pretty much a personal thing and what works for me, might not work for you. So this is just a friendly reminder to consider adding a warm up routine to your runs.

Have fun this running season. May you have many happy miles under your sneakers, and an injury-free summer.


~submitted by Sherry Heinel~

After weather concerns about if the Winter Rim Romp was going to happen due to the lack of snow, we were happy the Rim Romp was a go. Connor and I planned on going  as volunteers, with one of us participating – depending on the weather. Armed with yak traks, coffee, and a large variety of winter gear, we headed up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Saturday morning. In spite of of the iffy snow cover, we had an almost equal amount of participants and volunteers. The always gracious NP staff was on hand to help out and direct our efforts. Participants skied and ran while volunteers drank coffee and talked. After-event festivities were hosted by the Horsefly Brewery and we enjoyed the chili and beer in the yurt. The hot item for everyone there was the chance to get a copy of Becky’s son drawing.​

​​~submitted by Jan Peart~

Many of our members, including our new club officers, do not know the history of our Black Canyon Race Series.  I thought it might be important to provide some background and provide an update on the status of the Series.

In winter 2009-2010, Melanie Hall with the Montrose Community Foundation contacted SJMR member Scott Shine about putting on a race to benefit their non-profit.  Scott was the perfect person to contact!  He had been our 2009 Black Canyon race director, worked at the city, and was instrumental in getting the city to help promote our long-running BCA.   Since I was SJMR president and Scott’s co-race director, Scott enlisted me to help with ideas.

After numerous meetings and brainstorming sessions with Melanie Hall and other SJMR members, Melanie suggested a race series: three or four events which would then be presented to local businesses to support.  Putting on multiple events instead of one BIG race would allow us to promote throughout the year those businesses that funded and provided support for the series.  And so with encouragement from the City, we focused on our area’s biggest draw, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  The concept of a Black Canyon Race Series was born!

Next came the unenviable task of permitting two additional events that would bookend our well-known Black Canyon Ascent which was already in its 35th year.  The Winter Rim Romp was no problem.  The Park was excited to see us advertise an event which would increase visitors to the Black Canyon during the winter.  However, after months of discussions and negotiations, permission to put on a half marathon along the South Rim during late October stalled.  Finally the Chief Ranger and Regional Superintendent suggested the North Rim for the race.  Subsequently, the North Rim 20K and 8K was developed and our Black Canyon Race Series was established in January 2011.

And the fundraising?  From the beginning the City of Montrose supported the SJMRs with financial and in-kind support.  In addition, DMEA, Gordon Composites, Alpine Bank, Western Slope Orthopaedics , and Montrose Bank jumped onboard.  Today, Alpine Bank is our major contributor and Montrose Office of Business and Tourism continues to provide support by donating funds directly to SJMR through their Special Events grant program.

As for the Series’ future?  Many of you know that we did not put on the North Rim event in 2017 and with only two races in the Series, I was not comfortable soliciting funding from area businesses.  I would love to resurrect the North Rim event or renegotiate with the Park Service about a South Rim event (the original Park staff that were so against an event on the South Rim are no longer there).  I truly believe a half marathon closer to Montrose would be more popular and would be much easier logistically to put on compared to the North Rim.  But I need help and, quite frankly, after 15 years of co-race directing or race-directing am ready to pass on the responsibility of the BCRS to others.  But let’s talk, brainstorm, and see what we can do!

MOAB DUATHLON – March 3rd & 4th, 2018

(a race report submitted by Sue Hibbard & Jan Peart)

​Are you kidding us?  Sue Hibbard, Kathy Urso and Jan Peart just got back from one of the most fun events the Moab area has to offer:  2 days of trail running and mountain biking heaven!  They did the SJMRs proud–had to since they were the only SJMRs there!

All the events take place in the North Klondike Bluffs area, approximately 20 miles north of Moab.  On Saturday racers have the option of doing the entire duathlon, 8K trail run loop plus a 13K mountain bike course, also a loop.  Or do what Jan and Sue did, form a relay team with Jan tackling the trail run and Sue acing the bike portion.   Okay, downhills are their specialties and it brought smiles to their faces as they passed younger folks in their way and slowing them up.  “Look out!  Old ladies coming through!”

Then on Sunday it is running only.  And this attracted more people including Kathy participating in her first trail race.  Some runners, like Kathy, chose to do the 8K loop (1st in her age division!)  while others wanted to tackle the half marathon distance–the 8K plus 13K loops.

The event is well organized, scenic, challenging (but easy enough on early-season trail legs).  Best of all, it occurs before Moab hotel prices get jacked up.  Post-race refreshments include cheese quesadillas, hot soup (yum) and beverages.  Hint:  Team up so you have energy to hit the brewery/distillery after.  Check it out at 


The Black Canyon Ascent Run and Challenge Walk is scheduled for May 19th at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  This event features a tough, scenic 6-mile course starting at an elevation of 6500′ and climbing almost 2,000′ to the rim of the Black Canyon National Park. For over 40 years, beautiful vistas and scenic surroundings have inspired people to challenge themselves and the competition in this classic Western Colorado event.  Early bird registration fee is $30 until March 19th and youngsters (13 and under) are FREE with paid adult.  SJMR members also get a $10 discount (so if you haven’t renewed your membership yet, now is a good time to do it).  Club members can contact Jan Peart at for the discount code.  To register online click here

Mark Your Calendars!  The 3rd Annual Girls on the Run 5K will be held this May 12th.  This 5K is the culmination of the spring Girls on the Run program that runs in many of the local schools.  Girls learn a variety of topics including health, wellness, self-esteem, etc.  And they run… building up to running their first 5K.  And we need volunteers!  This is a fun event to volunteer at… options include: set up, tear down, registration, course marshals, course sweepers, course fairies, bicycles to lead the course, water / aid station, finish line helpers…  contact Julie Osborne at or 970-433-8271.

As part of the Freedom Festival organized as a fundraiser for Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans, there will be a 5K fun run and walk on June 9th.  More info on specifics as we get closer to that date will be posted.

The Trail Town 5 & 10 mile races are scheduled for June 30th this year in conjunction with the Ridgway RiverFest.  This event takes place in Ridgway, Colorado nestled in a valley surrounded by the majestic San Juan Mountains. The race features stunning views of mountain peaks and velvety green pastures.  The course is on a runner-friendly gravel road and gently climbs to the east towards the foot of the Cimarron Range. The gentle downhill is the reward heading to the finish. Post-race awards and refreshments await the finishers.  Online as well as day-of-event registration will be available.

For those of you who use Facebook there are several pages to find information on upcoming races and club news:

Montrose & Delta Runners:

Black Canyon Ascent:

Trail Town 5 & 10:

San Juan Mountain Runners:

If you haven’t already done so, you can now pay for your 2018 membership online at our website using PayPal:

FUN RUNS:  We meet every Saturday morning all year ’round at Looney Bean in Montrose (3480 Wolverine Dr – near JCPenney and Target).  We are currently meeting at 8:30 AM (this changes seasonally).  All abilities, all ages, walkers, joggers, runners all welcome.

“There is an expression among even the most advanced runners 

that getting your shoes on is the hardest part of any workout.”

Kathrine Switzer, women’s running pioneer

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