From Boston to GJ, Drout makes mark as runner

Jonathan Drout was ready for another marathon, but wanted something much more low-key than his most recent race.

After running the Boston Marathon four weeks ago, Saturday’s Grand Valley Marathon was a welcome change of pace, with 354 runners for the event, including a half-marathon, 10K and 5K.

The 40-year-old from Denver won the men’s race through the Palisade orchards and vineyards in 3 hours, 8 minutes, 20 seconds.

“This had the prettiest scenery and I didn’t want to be around a million yelling people,” Drout said. “Holy cow, it was beautiful. It was hillier than I thought it would be, even though I checked out the course ahead of time. It actually hurt. The rolling hills and the head wind from the turning point to the bridge. I don’t know if it affects the clock, but it affects the brain.

“That’s OK. You’re running next to this (Grand) Mesa and by the river and you think, ‘Who cares?’ “

Drout ran in his third Boston Marathon this spring.

“That’s the greatest run in the world for a marathon,” Drout said. “When you stand at the start line with 26,000 people, every single person next to you earned it. It’s the only one you have to qualify into it. Then, the people of Boston are just crazy.”

Val Loboda, 35, of Aspen took second in the men’s race in 3:20:50. Chad Johnson, 42, of Rifle took third in 3:24:38.

“I wanted to run something not far from where I live,” Loboda said. “It’s a warmer climate and my mother-in-law is visiting. We wanted her to see other parts of Colorado.”

Johnson is a wildland firefighter and often runs 5Ks to stay in shape for work, but was inspired to try a marathon after reading the book “Born to Run.”

Kay Evans, 50, of Cochowinity, N.C., won the women’s race in 3:39:35.

This was Evans’ first marathon in Colorado, making it the 48th state in which she’s run a marathon. Alaska and Hawaii are left on her list.

“It’s a beautiful course,” Evans said. “The smaller races, everybody is friendly. Everybody here was especially friendly. Everyone was encouraging everyone else.”

Evans started running in her late 30s with her husband, Jim.

“Jim used to run for fitness,” Evans said. “I put on a fair amount of weight. He encouraged me to run and I hated it. About the time I started to like it, he couldn’t run anymore because of his back. I wish we could’ve done more at the same time.”

Amanda Stream, 32, of Denver took second in 4:03:04 and Susan Cox, 56, of Weslaco, Texas, placed third in 4:05:30.

Stream completed her third marathon and first in Colorado.

She aspires to run one in all 50 states, and has already run in California and Texas.

“I did this one to prove to my boss I can do it in training,” Stream said.

Cox, 56, qualified for the Boston Marathon for the first time by four minutes, 30 seconds.

Cox started running after her nine grown children told her she spent too much time walking, she said. The Grand Valley Marathon was her 12th marathon.


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