This is not advanced human kinetics here. The easiest way to run an extremely fast race is to make sure you are always heading downhill -- not a sheer drop, but a nice, steady decline in elevation. And the nicest place to do that in the Denver area, by far, is the Evergreen Town Race, this year to be held on Sunday, August 6. Both the five-kilometer and ten-kilometer courses wind -- downhill, natch -- along the highly scenic Upper Bear Creek Road, past some of the most sumptuous mountain mansions you are ever likely to lay eyes on. Of course, they'll all be a blur because of the high velocity with which you will be passing them.

Readers' choice: Bolder Boulder

Now in its fourth year, the U.S. Vertical Kilometer will present you with possibly your worst time ever. The course begins at the base of the Vail ski resort and ends at the top, rocketing nearly straight up 1,000 meters in anywhere from three to three and a half miles. (Although the best route is marked by flags, runners can more or less select their own path -- usually at their peril.) In fact, even to call the U.S. Vertical Kilometer, held in mid-June, a running race is something of a misnomer. This year the men's winning time was just over 40 minutes -- an average of about 13 minutes per mile. The top woman finished in about 49 minutes -- or a bit over 16 minutes per mile.
Now in its fourth year, the U.S. Vertical Kilometer will present you with possibly your worst time ever. The course begins at the base of the Vail ski resort and ends at the top, rocketing nearly straight up 1,000 meters in anywhere from three to three and a half miles. (Although the best route is marked by flags, runners can more or less select their own path -- usually at their peril.) In fact, even to call the U.S. Vertical Kilometer, held in mid-June, a running race is something of a misnomer. This year the men's winning time was just over 40 minutes -- an average of about 13 minutes per mile. The top woman finished in about 49 minutes -- or a bit over 16 minutes per mile.
Former National League MVP and two-time batting champ Larry Walker gives way to the 26-year-old Tennessean Todd Helton, a rugged third-year man who led the league for most of the spring in four major offensive categories -- batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and hits. The oft-injured Walker, now 33, may still be the Rockies' greatest talent, but the level-headed, slick-fielding Helton is a natural for the 2000 All-Star Team -- and the young star who's helped Coors Field fans forget popular first-sacker Andres Galarraga's departure to Atlanta.

Former National League MVP and two-time batting champ Larry Walker gives way to the 26-year-old Tennessean Todd Helton, a rugged third-year man who led the league for most of the spring in four major offensive categories -- batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and hits. The oft-injured Walker, now 33, may still be the Rockies' greatest talent, but the level-headed, slick-fielding Helton is a natural for the 2000 All-Star Team -- and the young star who's helped Coors Field fans forget popular first-sacker Andres Galarraga's departure to Atlanta.

In three seasons as a Rockie, ace Pedro Astacio has never pitched a shutout, but he came within one teammate's error of doing it June 3 in Milwaukee. After scattering three hits and striking out seven over the first eight innings, the Dominican righty gave up a leadoff single to Geoff Jenkins in the ninth, threw a wild pitch and then saw the runner advance to third on a throwing error by Colorado catcher Scott Servais. Ex-Rockie Charlie Hayes then singled Jenkins home to tie the game 1-1. Alas, Rockies reliever Stan Belinda lost the game in the 12th, 2-1. Hard luck for Pete, but a splendid start nonetheless. Five hits, one unearned run, no decision.

In three seasons as a Rockie, ace Pedro Astacio has never pitched a shutout, but he came within one teammate's error of doing it June 3 in Milwaukee. After scattering three hits and striking out seven over the first eight innings, the Dominican righty gave up a leadoff single to Geoff Jenkins in the ninth, threw a wild pitch and then saw the runner advance to third on a throwing error by Colorado catcher Scott Servais. Ex-Rockie Charlie Hayes then singled Jenkins home to tie the game 1-1. Alas, Rockies reliever Stan Belinda lost the game in the 12th, 2-1. Hard luck for Pete, but a splendid start nonetheless. Five hits, one unearned run, no decision.

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