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PHOTO: Andy Kort (No. 472) finished the Empty Stocking Shuffle 5K on Saturday at Colorado College. Kort, of Monument, celebrated his 80th birthday with his family at the race.

 

VIDEO: Start of Stocking Shuffle

PHOTO GALLERY: Lots of Yuletide Spirit to go around

 

About 150 runners, reindeer, Santa's elves and even St. Nick himself toed the line in the Stocking Shuffle 5K Saturday at Colorado College.

The race was a fundraiser for the El Pomar Empty Stocking Fund. Josiah Valenzuela, 16, a Mesa Ridge High School student won the race with a time of 16 minutes, 42 seconds. Valenzuela finished 18th at the Class 4A state cross country meet this fall, but he hadn't trained hard since then.

"I had to come out and see if I still knew how to run," Valenzuela said. "I only ran three times before this race."

Gerald Romero of Colorado Springs was second in 16:59, followed by Kevin Morgan (18:06) and Nathan McCrary (18:21) and J.T. Teisher (18:30). In the women's race, Lauren Kort captured the top spot in 22:07. She was 12th overall. Katelyn Swiatek was second in 22:20, followed y Amy DeWeerd (23:08), Mollie Lynch (23:22), and Marlene Kort (22:07).
The day belonged to Monument resident Andy Kort, a retired school teacher, who celebrated his 80th birthday surrounded by family. He was serenaded with impromptu rendition of "Happy Birthday" at the awards ceremony.

"I'm just out here for the fun of it," Kort said. "I've done 5K's before, but I'm really not a runner.

Complete results to come.

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