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October 2000

Oh, deer!
Runners and cyclists
hoof it up the hill
in 21st annual race

After sulking for awhile, the weather smiled on the 21st annual Up-the-Hill Races on Friday, 8 September. A foreboding thunderstorm scooted to the east just before the 3:00 p.m. start, leaving comfortable 70°F (21°C) air in its wake. Spectators at the crest of the hill had a clear view of the racers, not to mention a small lightning-generated fire in the foothills to the north.

Blake Caldwell, the 16-year-old son of SCD's Ginger Caldwell, brought sizzle to the bike race. Blake holds eight national cycling titles (see the Boulder Daily Camera). He broke away from this year's pack almost instantly and wowed the crowd by finishing in 4:59 seconds. That not only smashed Blake's own record of 5:41 (1998) but also topped the course record of 5:06 set by Alan Hills (RAP) in 1990.

"I was surprised that he broke my course record," says Alan, "especially after they steepened the hill. Well, it seems steeper now than it did ten years ago." Alan rolled in at 5:51 this year, followed a mere second later by Niles Oien (RAP). Christine Shields (CGD) paced the female cyclists at 8:20 for her first-ever victory. Close behind were RAP's Barbara Middlebrook (8:27) and ASP postdoc Judith Berner (8:37).

Blake Caldwell conquers the mesa road in record time. (Photos by Carlye Calvin unless otherwise noted.)

Above: Feeling the burn:
Dick Valent (left), Betty Valent, and Doug Hunt.

Left: Kay Levesque closes in on her road-race title.

Veterans of the foot race acquitted themselves well this year. Kay Levesque clinched her first-ever victory in the women's foot race (11:31). Betty Valent (F&A), who scored her first win in 1984, finished second at 11:37, just three seconds behind husband Dick Valent (SCD). "Both of us got a kick out of all the cheering as we worked our way up the hill," says Betty.

Andrew Crook notched his tenth victory since 1988 with a time of 8:12, followed by Dave Albo (8:52). Stan Trier had only minutes to catch his breath between completing the bike race and placing third (9:21) in the foot race. Niles joined Stan as the day's other duathlete. "I definitely prefer cycling to running," says Niles. "I entered the running race largely just for fun. Maybe in the future there could be prizes for the best combined run/bike times. Quite a few people seem interested in this. Only in Boulder!"

SCD's relay group successfully devolved into a tag team near the end of the race. (Photo courtesy SCD.)

Over 300 staff trotted up the hill for at least a few yards in the largest-ever divisional relay race. The mesa's mule deer were no doubt gaping as each runner quickly donned, doffed, and handed off a set of antlers and a small stuffed deer. ACD made it to the top first: however, the byzantine formula for determining a relay winner includes not only raw time but also the percentage of staff participating and, new for 2000, the total years of UCAR/NCAR service among the participants. Once the calculations were done, SCD had triumphed, leading the pack with their 54% participation rate (56 runners) and their 576 years of service. MMM and UOP placed second and third.

With the tree plaza under construction, the après-race party unfolded in a new locale: the fountain plaza and the main entrance area. Partygoers dined on beer and brats provided by Food Services and polka-ed to Steve Rock's Tanzkapelle, featuring COMET's Dolores Kiessling on drums, before a blustery thunderstorm sent people inside. Movie tickets and other prizes went to staff who had tracked down 40 miniature deer hidden by the Employee Activities Committee around the various sites in the weeks leading up to the party. --BH

A few of SCD's resplendent relayers savor their victory. Left to right: John Merrill, Dorothy Bustamante, Janie Young, Pete Peterson, Fred Clare, Pete Morreale, and Mary Haley. (Photo by Lynda Lester.)

This shy buck asked to remain incognito.

Full race results are on the EAC's Web site.

More race and party photos from Lynda Lester and other SCD staff.

Photos indicate that Andrew Crook's
feet never actually touched the ground during the foot race.

With the help of Tanzkapelle, there was a whole lot of oompahing going on. (Photo by Lynda Lester.)

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu