Zack Allen of Hotchkiss was the overall winner of Saturday’s Delta County Fair Stampede for Beef 5k Run/Walk. Allen ran the 3.2-mile Barrow Mesa loop in 24 minutes, 17 seconds.
“It wasn’t too hard, wasn’t too easy,” said Allen, a sophomore cross country runner at Hotchkiss High School.
The race was the first 5k for Parker Katzdorn, who placed second overall (26:11).
Katzdorn, a sophomore at HHS, will be running several 5ks this year as a new member of the HHS cross country team.
The small turnout — just 16 runners crossed the finish line — attracted a mere six male participants and no youth males.
Aubree Andre, of Delta, and Tawny Roberts, of Hotchkiss, both almost 12 years old, tied to win both the overall female and youth female divisions with a time of 27:37.
The two compete on the same soccer team and encouraged each other throughout the course before sprinting to the finish line side by side.
The event was sponsored by the Black Mesa Cattlewomen and benefits the organization’s Agricultural Scholarship fund.
The organization awards annual scholarships to seniors from either Hotchkiss or Paonia.
Race day coincided with opening day of the 86th annual Delta County Fair.
The newly mapped 3.2-mile course rises up from Willow Heights Park and traverses some of the most scenic agricultural lands in the state, with the West Elk Mountains as a backdrop. The first mile is paved and climbs a slight grade across K50 Road and up Barrow Mesa Road before turning to gravel, then turns downhill over Coal Road, across two cattle guards and through private lands before dropping back to the park.
Husband and wife Tom and Sandy Scheefer of Paonia won the men’s and women’s masters divisions. Tom placed fourth overall and Sandy placed ninth. The course was “absolutely beautiful,” said Tom. “It could be in a magazine.”
Both agreed that the course had the right mix of terrain. “You had uphill and downhill at the right times,” said Sandy.
The Scheefers are avid runners and perennials in the July 4 Cherry Days 5k. They plan to run in the Ouray to Ridgway Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon later this month. “We just love running,” said Sandy. “You buy shoes, good shoes, and that’s about it.”
At 74, Gerald Harding of Cedaredge was the oldest competitor. “I thought it was beautiful, wonderful,” said Harding of the course. “I thought it was gorgeous looking at the mountains.”
Harding said he works out several days a week and often runs five miles a day. “I enjoy the scenery, try to stay in shape,” said Harding, who hopes to compete in the 5k again next year.
Awards also honored the area’s diverse agricultural heritage. For their winning efforts, the overall male and female winners received a mug engraved with the race logo and images of local cattle brands, and a $25 beef certificate to Homestead Market. Overall youth winners received an engraved water bottle and running bag, and for winning the Masters division, the Scheefers were each awarded a bottle of Black Bridge wine and engraved wine glasses. All participants received a beef-themed gift bag, as well as post-race refreshments and a T-shirt.
T-shirts are still available for purchase, and will benefit the scholarship fund. For more information, call Shelley Clement at 234-4871.