Gravy Train 5k fun run raises funds for Craig sports scholarships

John Camponoeschi
For Craig Press
Runners burst from the starting line of the Craig Gravy Train on Nov. 18.
John Camponeschi/For Craig Press

The fourth annual Gravy Train 5k race was held at Loudy Simpson Park in Craig on Saturday. Conditions were cool and the course was in great shape for participants and spectators alike.

The event started in 2019 when Travis Sanford began working for the city of Craig. It encourages people to get outside and recreate before the holiday season and cold weather sets in.

Sponsors of the event are entirely from the city of Craig, making it unique in the fact that it is 100% locally sponsored and supported.

Sanford, who is the coordinator of the event, strives to promote a high level of participation from the local community as well as the cross country and track teams at Moffat County High School.

“The high school athletes bring a high competitive level to the event,” Sanford said. “We also get a lot of local runners.”

Todd Trapp, who teaches at Moffat County High School and also coaches the cross country and track teams, has won the men’s category of the event for the last three years but was not participating in this year’s run. 

There were first place prizes in the mens, womens, boys and girls categories. There was also a second place and third place that was inclusive of all the categories. Adding to the fun of the event was a first place award for the “best dressed” runner as well.

Manuel Mena won this year’s event with a time of just under 17 minutes in the men’s category. Mena was running in support of his brother, who was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. His brother’s diagnosis was an inspiration for Mena to “be healthy and strong for his family.”

Manuel Mena poses under the finish line of the Craig Gravy Train 5K following his first place finish in the men’s category.
John Camponeschi/For Craig Press

“It was an amazing race,” Mena said, speaking through a translator. “I am so happy because I had three months where I had not been competing.”

Following a month of spending evenings training on his treadmill after working long days in construction in Oak Creek, he felt he was ready to return to racing.  

Jennifer Pressgrove, who won first in the women’s category, said that conditions were “perfect for running.” Pressgrove was recovering from a tear in her patella tendon and was coming off a month without training. However, her coaching of high school cross country earlier in the fall helped her to finish in first place. 

Pressgrove’s family dominated as well, with her children taking first in both the boys and girls category. All of the Pressgrove children, except for the 4-year-old, ran in the race. 

“It’s fun to see more people out here this year,” Pressgrove said regarding the event. “Hopefully we keep getting higher numbers to come in future years.” 

Results for the event this year were:

First place male, Manuel Mena; First place female, Jen Pressgrove; second place overall, Zachary Womble; third place overall, Owen Gifford; first place boy, Jonas Pressgrove; first place girl, Charis Pressgrove; and best dressed Jeneane Rinker.

Sanford noted that Jeremy Browning of Chaos Ink was a key supporter of the event with a monetary donation and by providing T-shirts to participants. Sanford also noted that many local families have been consistent supporters of the event over the years and that Jason Stokes of State Farm Insurance has been a key business in ensuring the event’s annual success as well. 

“It takes a whole community to get it together,” Sanford said. “It’s a great time.”

The entry fees from the Gravy Train 5K Fun Run bolster the city of Craig’s Youth Scholarship program, which supports young people who cannot afford to participate in sports programs. Nonperishable food donations, which could be used as an entry fee in lieu of $5, are given to Craig’s Interfaith Food Bank. 

For more information about the Gravy Train Fun Run 5K, contact Recreation Manager Travis Sanford at 970-826-2006 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.