Family tradition: Renterias enjoy bonding opportunity in relaxed running competition

Six-year-old Santiago Renteria finished sixth overall against all competitors Saturday in the Matchett Trail Run/Walk.



Avelicia Renteria, 17, was the first woman to finish the Matchett Trail Run/Walk. Renteria runs cross country at Palisade High School.



The Renteria family competed Saturday in the Matchett Trail Run/Walk at Matchett Park. Pictured, from left, Xavier, 11, father Joe, Santiago, 6, mother Marce, and Avelicia, 17. It was the eighth year the run has been put on by the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department.



One of the main objectives of the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department’s Matchett Trail Run/Walk is to provide families a chance to run together.

“This is our eighth year of the race, and we get to provide an event for all ages that really promotes physical activity,” race director Emily Wright said. “The race is geared toward a fun run and we just want to get families out.”

The Renterias fit that description.

Saturday at Matchett Park, an undeveloped park at 281⁄4 Road and Patterson, Joe Renteria and his family, wife Marce, 17-year-old daughter Avelicia and sons Xavier, 11, and Santiago, 6, all ran the 3.2-mile event.

Avelicia’s boyfriend, Rudy Vasquez, also ran with the family, finishing second in the men’s 29-and-under division in 21 minutes, 8 seconds.

The six continued to develop what’s become a family tradition.

Avelicia runs cross country at Palisade High School, and last summer, the rest of the family started joining her on training runs.

Although the cross country season is over, they still run as a family.

“We run about three or four times a week,” Joe Renteria said. “My wife and I only do a mile, but they’ll do a lot more.”

Joe Renteria’s crew all turned in impressive times. Xavier Renteria finished third in the men’s 29-and-under division in 23:18, and Santiago Renteria finished sixth in 27:08.

Avelicia was the top finisher for the women in 23:51.

Joe finished in 28:46, and Marce turned in a 32:05.

“I’m the luckiest person to have my kids wanting to do it,” said Joe Renteria, who ran cross country at Fruita Monument. “I don’t force them at all, and my wife and I are happy to be able to run with them.”

Avelicia, a senior, has been running with Palisade’s varsity cross country team the past four years, but faces some of her toughest competition from her younger brothers.

Xavier finished ahead of his sister despite being six years younger.

“The young guys (Santiago and Xavier) just started and Xavier is passing me up,” Avelicia said. “He’s really progressed and I hope he keeps with it.”

Avelicia’s passion for cross country is what got the Renterias putting in miles together.

“It’s fun to share the thing I love with my family,” Avelicia said. “It’s been really fun running together.”

Michael Rottmann won the men’s 30-49 age division in 25:47 and Randy Kirschbaum was first in the men’s 50-over division in 23:58.

The Parks and Rec Department’s Jingle Bell Run is Dec. 12 at Canyon View Park.


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