Runners blooming in time at Slacker

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Herzog, two others just coming into their own after wins in half marathon

By Michael Hicks

GEORGETOWN — Ryan Herzog didn’t run in high school back in Duluth, Minn., or in college when he studied at the Minnesota College of Design. As a matter of fact, he didn’t start running until seven years ago, and that was to reduce the weight he had added while in college.
“I lost my fitness from the sports in my younger years, so I got into running kind of by fluke,” the 33-year-old Superior resident said.
The former motocross rider and hockey player enjoys running with his friends and teammates on the Runners Roost team. It’s fun to see what his friends do. That motivates him, Herzog said.
What also motivates him is the Slacker Half Marathon itself. It’s been, as he calls it, his “Montezuma race.” In two previous races, stomach issues, which are never an issue when he runs marathons, have troubled him. It was especially the case in 2012, when he placed second to two-time winner Charles Hillig Jr., partially because he had to make two pit stops. But Hillig wasn’t going to be a problem in 2013, because he wasn’t entered in the race. And the stomach issues? They weren’t a bother either.
The only thing that slowed Herzog down, after the race, was exercise-induced asthma, but not until he ran a personal-best time of 1 hour, 10 minutes, 54 seconds. Though he didn’t break his pre-race goal of 1:10, the finish was more than he could ask for.
“This year, I wanted to come back and redeem myself,” Herzog said. He finished 26 seconds ahead of Peter Vail of Denver.
Vail’s wife, Danielle, much like Herzog, has run post-school on her own to stay in shape. The 26-year-old first-time Slacker runner overcame a slow start — she was using a portable toilet when the race started — to be the first female to finish in 1:28.46. She bested Amy Hume of Breckenridge by 30 seconds.
“It felt really good. I didn’t expect how steep it was at times,” she said. “Surprisingly, I felt good the whole race.”
Lakewood’s Daniel Glass is also a late bloomer when it comes to running. The 25-year-old, who graduated from Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain High School in 2006, just started running four years ago at the request of his brother, Michael, who was watching their mom, Jennifer, run in the Chicago Marathon.
“We started running. He hated it; I loved it,” said Glass, who has run in two ultra-marathons and this year’s Boston Marathon as well.
He ran a time of 2:48 in Boston, finishing prior to the tragedies that impacted that race late. A right knee injury kept him out of the Slacker Half Marathon, but it didn’t slow him down from winning the male portion of the 4-miler. Glass won in 23 minutes, 53 seconds.
Dani Perry, who hadn’t run in the Slacker in nine years, not since she was a junior at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, was the female winner of the 4-miler in 27:29. She won by more than two minutes over Denver’s Carol Mullen, who finished in 29:42.
Downward Incline, the three-person team of Aaron O’Hara and Justine and Thomas Loegering, won the relay race in 1:31:09.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.

The following are the top five finishers in the 2012 Slacker Half Marathon, 4-miler and relay races:
HALF MARATHON, MALE: Ryan Herzog, Superior, 1:10:54; Peter Vail, Denver, 1:11:20; Matt Peharda, Littleton, 1:16.57; Michael Gilbert, Arvada, 1:19:16; Scott Schrader, Lone Tree, 1:19:36
HALF MARATHON, FEMALE: Danielle Vail, Denver, 1:28:46; Amy Hume, Breckenridge, 1:29:16; Micah Adriani, Tallahassee, Fla., 1:30; Jennifer Brandon, Boulder, 1:30; Kendelle Krause, Broomfield, 1:33:10
4-MILER, MALE: Daniel Glass, Lakewood, 23:53; Richard Ostrander, Erie, 24:27; Miles Stucky, Covington, Ind., 25:10; Jens-Erik Lund Snee, Evergreen, 26:22; Drew Melnick, Lakewood, 26:28
4-MILER FEMALE: Dani Parry, Fort Collins, 27:29; Carol Mullen, Denver, 29:42; Sara Rodgers, Centennial, 30:03; Ingrid Femenias, Erie, 30:21; Emily Hiller, Boulder, 31:32
RELAY: Downward Incline (Aaron O’Hara, Justine Loegering, Thomas Loegering), 1:31:09; Roll Nerdy Clan (Eliza Cornell, Eric Cornell, Sophia Cornell), 1:47:37; Charlie’s Angels (Linda Lease, Laura Leovic, Kim Nichols), 1:51.28; Dragon Slayers (John Cutshall, Liz Minyard, Dylan Radford), 1:54:46; Hare (Mary Maiman, Pete Maiman, Elizabeth Rominger), 1:58:33