Mancos has a new running club and its called RunMancos. It is part of The Mancos Project, LLC, which also includes Team Earth Elite. They meet every Saturday morning at Zuma Natural Foods at 9 a.m. Its open for everyone, no matter what their skill level is.
Were very conversational and walkers are encouraged, Ben Hahn, founder and president of The Mancos Project, said. The time theyre together is less than an hour, he said.
In addition to Hahn, Dylan Kleinberg is the environmental coordinator and also happens to be Hahns girlfriend; and John Yatsko is vice president and a Team Earth Elite member.
Its about sustainability, local food, living healthy, combined with running, a good aerobic activity, Hahn said.
Even though you can run with the group without a membership, becoming a member is only $20 a year. You get a T-shirt, training advice, and you can get tips on eating, local farms and gardening. They hope to also give advice on how to deal with the cold weather in this area.
We are developing a race series, he said. Eventually we want a Mancos half-marathon and a Mesa Verde Marathon. If youre a member of RunMancos you will get a discount on the runs.
Wed like to get about 20 members from all over Cortez, Mancos, Dolores.
Ben Hahn is originally from Pennsylvania. He went to college at Edinboro University of PA, which is near Erie, Penn. He was a two-time NCAA All-American and champion in his high school in the 2-mile event.
He won the Tucson half-marathon last year.
Hes also a health and physical education teacher. And, he hopes to get good enough to qualify for the 2016 summer Olympics.
Another project he has going is a running team called Team Earth Elite. We are putting a little dab of sustainability in it, he said.
We already have athletes who are coming to us and training. They like to train in this high altitude, he said.
Hahn and his crew are always looking for sponsors to help them with the training center they hope to have, and also with the team they already have in place. Much of their training Hahn and Yatsko do, but they are also getting help from Terry Stanley, an expert marathoner, Hahn said. The elite team athletes come for one week or for two months, depending on what they want.
Hahn said he loves Mancos, since he moved here in November.
Everybodys been so welcoming here, he said. We want to raise awareness for environmental issues and have a running community at the same time.
Hahn was featured in the Edinboro University Magazine for his running as well as his founding of the running club here in Mancos. That article can be seen at http://www.edinboromagazine.com/former-edinboro-runner-founds-professional-running-club-and-sustainability-group/.
The Mancos Project and RunMancos can be found on Facebook. Hahn also has a website at www.themancosproject.org that gives a lot of information about them.