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Jan 1, 2011 5:28 PM by Andy Koen

77 and still running

At 77 years old, Phil Foster hasn't let his age slow him down. He's taken part in the Rescue Run each year since it started in 1978.

"I think I'll just kind of jog and take it easy," Foster said.

He was in hospital a week ago because of chest pain, yet even before today's race he even put in a quick 2 miles in Monument Valley Park as part of the Nielson Challenge.  If you ask him why he does it, Foster will tell you he's "just crazy."

But then he also says , "all of these people are nuts."

Those "people" are the nearly 700 others runner who bundled up and joined Foster near the softball fields in Palmer Park to run in the 33rd Annual Rescue Run, a 5/10K benefit race for El Paso County Search and Rescue.

"The motto is rain, snow or 20 below and this was probably the closest (race) we've had in years that's been snowy, cold and the way it was predicted last night, they were looking at 15 below zero," said Search and Rescue spokesman Steve Sperry.

The icy trails and single digit temperatures didn't seem to bother Colin Paaew who, like many runners, was sporting bare legs.

"They're fine," Paaew said. "It's the second time I've actually worn shorts on the run."

Runner Nicole Rogers first ran in 2009 and liked it so much she brought 4 of her friends to run with her this year.

"I just like to run, it's a great way to start of the New Year," Rogers said.

One of those friends was Katie Van Horn, who along with her 4 year old daughter Keira is running for the first time.

"Hopefully, not to freeze but just to finish," Van Horn said.

Foster and his wife Julie crossed the finish line in just under 53 minutes. He says he wished he'd gone faster.

Nevertheless, his resilience is an inspiration to many on how to start the New Year off right.

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