The Pueblo West View

Holiday 5K race thrives

Starting the Fourth of July running instead of boozing apparently was a high priority for hundreds of people this year.

The Liberty Point 5k sustained its spike in participation after another successful event this year. More than 650 runners and walkers dedicated part of their morning to the race at Joe Martinez and Purcell Boulevard.

Not everyone who participated in the festivities was native to Pueblo. Competitors boarded flights and endured drives from different states to join the three-mile race with family and friends at the continually growing event.

“I think the event was a huge success,” said Resource Development Coordinator Bianca Hicks. “We had people from all over; Colorado Springs, Kansas, Washington (state).”

Of the more than 650 runners and walkers who participated in the Liberty Point 5k, the first person to cross the finish line was Michael Cernoia, 20, who completed the race with a time of 15:38.80.

First for the women, and finishing fourteenth overall, was former South High Colt and soon to be Colorado State University Ram Jessica Kleven, with a time of 19:26.39.

According to, Rich Hadley, 57, was the oldest finisher in the top 25. Hadley finished with a time of 20:54.

Witnessing the various age groups participating in the race that morning made it that more notable and gave the race more meaning to those watching.

“A lot of people from tiny kids to seniors came out and had a lot of fun,” Hicks said.

“Seeing everybody coming out from the community and enjoying it is all the thanks for us.”

Last year the event totaled more than 400 participants and raised about $12,000.

While the exact number of runners and total revenue haven’t been calculated, Hicks said that both figures increased greatly from last year.

“Still putting together the totals, but tentatively we are looking at just over $14,000 raised for the race,” Hicks said.

“This is a record-setting year. We’ve definitely had more than we’ve ever had in the past, including last year. This is the most we’ve had participate.”

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