UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > October 2001 Search


October 2001

Staffers get their kicks at windy hill race

Safety first: Steve Sadler, ready for any contingency, tosses safety glasses and Tootsie Rolls to his fans.
Engine No. 1/2 of the Wheat Ridge Volunteer Fire Department makes an appearance as the lone fire engine entrant.

Despite a gusty downslope wind, participants and spectators alike enjoyed the 22nd annual Up-the-Hill Races. The colorful festivities on 7 September included a bevy of red wagons, a miniature fire engine mounted on a golf cart, and a safety-minded Steve Sadler puffing up the Mesa in a respirator and other safety gear.

SCD's Blake Caldwell, who has won ten junior national bike racing championships, captured first place in the bike race for the second straight year. But his time of 5:19 failed to break the course record he set last year at 4:59. "It felt a lot harder than last year with the head wind," he said.

The top finishers behind Blake were ATD's Jonathan Emmett and SCD's Steve Worley. Anne-Marie Tarrant (RAP) finished first among the women with a time of 8:11, followed by Christine Shields (CGD) and Lynette Laffea (GST).

No stop watch was needed to determine that Steve Sadler, an unofficial participant, had firmly nailed down last place. Steve, the director of Safety and Site Services, was decked out in a stylish white safety suit designed to protect him from hazardous materials. He also wore knee pads, elbow pads, and a hard hat; breathed through a respirator designed to filter out air toxins; and towed a fire extinguisher.

"Anything that would have happened I would have survived, short of heat exhaustion and a heart attack," Steve mused after the ordeal. But he pleaded: "I want somebody to stop me before I do this again."

Between the bike and foot races, a surprise entrant chugged up the hill: the Wheat Ridge Volunteer Fire Department's Engine No. 1/2. The small-scale fire truck, mounted on a golf cart, is "strictly for PR," according to Glenn New, a retired firefighter and father of SCD's Gary New (who volunteers with the Wheat Ridge fire department). Engine 1/2 comes complete with a working fire hose. "It's a lot of fun in a parade," Glenn explained, "if you've got someone alongside to shoot at."

Foot-race veterans scored impressive victories, even as they complained that the head winds increased their times. Andrew Crook (MMM/RAP) won for the 11th time since 1988 with a time of 8:48, followed by Rick Katz (ESIG) and Dave Albo (RAP).

For Andrew, the Up-the-Hill event marked a comeback of sorts—his first race since a hamstring injury in April. "I was happy with the race, given my lack of training for the year and the fact that I was injured," said Andrew, who had hoped to finish the race in about 8:20. "I just wish the conditions had been a bit better."

A victorious Andrew Crook hardly seems as if he's coming off an injury.
First place or not, Betty Valent says she could have run harder.

Betty Valent (F&A), racking up her seventh win since 1984, led the women with a time of 12:48, followed by Julia Lee-Taylor (ACD) and Jennifer Griffin (SCD). Like the top male finisher, Betty said she was disappointed with her time.

"It was wonderful to win first place, but my time was not very good," she said. "I just didn't make myself work hard. I felt too good when I crossed the finish line."

Next it was time for some nostalgia with the relay race. The theme this year was Route 66, in honor of the 75th anniversary of that celebrated road. Each relay participant had to run up the hill hauling a map, pillow, and suitcase in a small red wagon, which symbolized a station wagon. The participants also had to carry an open container filled with a beverage—although some of the containers appeared to have spilled their contents by the end of the race.

"The wagon thing was really a riot," said Betty, who ran with her F&A colleagues.

Al Cooper is barely slowed by a loaded wagon.
No one can celebrate a last-place finish like Bob Roesch.

In a rare tie, the ASP/E&O team shared first place in the relay with ACD. "I loved it," said E&O's Tim Barnes. "I was a little dubious about the whole idea because I didn't know if it was entirely possible to run with the wagons. But I think it worked surprisingly well."

Tim was one of four people who participated in all three events, along with José Garcia (HAO), Myron McCallum (GST), and Arnaud Dumont (RAP). They received purple ribbons for being triple entrants.

In all, 37 people participated in the bike race (up from 35 last year), 21 in the foot race (up from 18), and some 351 in the relay race (up from 340).

Nobody enjoyed the races more than HR's Bob Roesch, the last participant on the last-place F&A relay team. "We're underwhelming," a grinning Bob said of his team. "We have set our standards low and we haven't met them yet."

What kind of motto fits a last-place team? "No one," Bob boasted, "steps on our heels."

• David Hosansky

Racers on the Move

bettyvalent.mov, (392 Kb)
Betty Valent on the hill-race tradition.

femalerunners.mov, (1.8 Mb)
Winning female runners reach the top: Betty Valent, Julia Lee-Taylor, and Jennifer Griffin.

firetruck.mov, (794 Kb)
The little fire engine that could.

malerunners.mov, (1.1 Mb)
NCAR veterans at the foot-race finish: Andrew Crook, Rick Katz, Dave Albo, and Nate Klemp (Joe Klemp's son).

relay.mov, (1.4 Mb)
Relayers hauled little red wagons en route.

roeschrelay.mov, (1.4 Mb)
Don't rush Roesch; the HR head takes his time relaying.

sadler.mov, (1.5 Mb)
The Safety Santa (Steve Sadler) distributes goodies from his two-wheeled sleigh.


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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > October 2001 Search

Edited by David Hosansky, hosansky@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Thu Oct 25 11:18:36 MDT 2001