On the roads again

Former MCHS runner back on course

The days of working two jobs may be over soon for Clint Wells.

That could be good because his resume as a runner is more impressive anyway.

Wells, a 1993 graduate of Moffat County High School, a University of Colorado All-American and a professional runner, was the top American finisher in the elite division of Monday's Bolder Boulder 10-kilometer road race.

"I had a ton of comments like, 'You looked different,'" Wells said. "I've had a lot of positive response from people since the race."

His 14th-place finish in 30 minutes, 49 seconds wasn't his best ever, but all things considered, he was happy.

"It reinforced that I'm doing the right thing," he said. "It helps continue to motivate me."

The 10K was the 30-year-old's third race of 2005. After hanging up his shoes in 2004 and taking two jobs to support himself, Wells made a return to running early this year.

"I'd like to get back to the point where someone will pick me up (as a sponsor)," Wells said. "It'd be nice to get rid of at least one of my jobs."

While working at Parsec Sports Timing and at Hotel Boulderado in Boulder, Wells jumped back into training early this year after a rough 2004.

In July 2004, he raced in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials 5,000-meter race but failed to make the finals. He tried one more race after the trials and then decided he was done.

"It was the first time that I had ever thought, 'This could be it for good,'" he said. "I went into the trials knowing my body was too fatigued."

On Monday, Wells re-emer--ged at the Bolder Boulder.

The Bolder Boulder is a familiar race for the Boulderite. He finished seventh, sixth and 17th from 2001 to 2003. Actually his re--turn this year almost didn't happen.

Wells was asked several times by organizers of Team Colorado to compete. He turned them down once and then they turned him down twice after he agreed to run for them. It wasn't until Wednesday last week that it worked out for him to race on the team.

He then led team Colorado to an eighth-place finish in the international team race. He also finished ahead of the three runners on Team USA.

"It's good to see Clint had a positive experience here," Brad Hudson, Wells' coach told the Boulder Daily Camera. "He's trying to come back, and for an older athlete it's really hard. He has great inner drive. I'm proud of his effort and how he's trained."

Wells' professional career includes representing the United States at the World Cross Country Championships as well as just missing an Olympic qualification in the 3,000 steeplechase at the 2000 Olympic trials.

He said his plans for the rest of the year are to enter road races and to keep improving his training.

"I just want to keep enjoying it and see where I can go from here," he said. "By the time a lot of people are my age they're done competing at the top level. This is what I like to do."

He said future races may include the Chicago Marathon but that wasn't set in stone. He plans to stay in road racing until the national cross country championships in 2006. After that, he may go back to the track for competition.

Wells, for whom Moffat County's annual home track meet is named, was a five-time state champion as a Bulldog, and, during his senior year, he set two state records in track.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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