Billed as a “community run,” the Mountain Avenue Mile in Fort Collins more than lives up to its billing. It’s all inclusive featuring divisions for fun runners, a children’s competitive race, open males and females, a “beauty and the beast” division for men and women over 40, and a 4-person relay.
The race was started, and for many years organized by Jane Welzel, a nationally-known runner who made her home in Fort Collins and devoted much of her time and energy to supporting running. Her life was cut short four years ago, but two races and a track workout she established continue in her honor.
I love this race. It starts a block from my house on Mountain Avenue. It’s held on a weekday evening in August. Runners gather to enjoy each other’s company and to cheer each other on. The course goes east on Mountain Avenue toward town for most of the way, then takes a left turn to finish close to a small park. Party time at a local restaurant follows.
Long distance runners don’t often get a chance to compete in a one-mile race. Going all out is a different, and at least for me, a pretty painful experience. But how much fun! I had quite a few years’ “experience” (as in more than 40 years) over the youngest of the 37 over-40 runners, but no matter. It was a kick to participate.
2018 drew the largest field ever. Thanks to the loyal volunteers of the Fort Collins Running Club, the Mountain Avenue Mile is here to stay.
Eight-year-old Riley posed with her mom, Andrea before the start of the kids' competitive race. She did a mile in 8:40!
Below the open men get ready to go. The winner did the mile in 4:32.