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Durango Double keys on ‘flexibility’

By Kyle Grabowski Herald staff writer

Not every race draws the attention of Olympic Trials qualifiers.

But this year’s Durango Double has.

Jen Shelton, a 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon, will be running in the 50-kilometer trail race today and in the marathon Sunday.

The 2013 Durango Double features 25K and 50K trail runs today and full and half marathons Sunday.

Online registration for all races has closed, but interested runners still can register for Sunday’s races in person at Animas Surgical Hospital from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Registering for an individual race costs $100, while registering for the Double costs $200.

As of Tuesday, the number of online registrants was approaching 400, said race director Matt Kelly. Kelly expected the total to settle between 400 and 450. Runners have registered from 22 states and Canada with a significant portion of them coming from out of town.

“We have a commitment to bringing out-of-town runners into Durango. We’re moving into the shoulder season, where it’s not summer, and it’s not ski season,” Kelly said. “Our goal has been to bring runners and bring visitors into town and show them what an amazing place Durango is.”

The Durango Double received a $4,000 grant from the Business Improvement District to spend on out-of-town marketing. The race spent about $10,000 on those efforts, Kelly said, in order to lure runners to Durango.

“The local benefit is, we get a national-caliber race in Durango,” Kelly said. “All of this ends up benefiting the Women’s Resource Center. We plan to give at least $10,000.”

Kelly’s theme for putting together this year’s event has been “flexibility.”

The course for both races had to be shifted because of trail repairs on the trail-race course and construction on La Posta Road.

“One of the things that’s kept this event relevant and vibrant over the years is always looking at what we can improve,” Kelly said.

Both the 25K and 50K trail runs will begin and end at the Animas Surgical Hospital. The 50K will start at 7:30 a.m. and the 25K at 9 a.m. today.

Both the full and half marathons will begin at Fort Lewis College and will end at Buckley Park in downtown Durango.

Post-race parties are expected to continue until 5 p.m. both days.

“As race director, what I’m most concerned about is a safe, fun race where people can come out and experience the best Durango has to offer,” Kelly said. “I want snow on the La Platas and mid-60s down here.”


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