"Al has been a longtime supporter and one of our great volunteers," Gardner said. "And he is really a good runner. He doesn't race much any more, but I'll bet he would still win his age group."
Grimme never saw it coming.
"This comes as a complete surprise," he said.
Grimme, 60, has been a member of the Pikes Peak Road Runner since 1978, when he moved here from Pennsylvania to train at altitude. He competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials in 1980 and 1984. He didn't make the Olympic team, but has a personal-best marathon time of 2:18:58, which would be good enough to qualify for the 2010 marathon trials.
One of his biggest accomplishments is helping to raise funds for a track for blind students at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. Grimme earned money by doing two long runs, from Pueblo and from Limon to Colorado Springs.
"The blind runners would need a guide if they wanted to run," Grimme said. "So we built a track for them with a hand rail on the inside lane so that they could run by themselves."
The Pikes Peak Road Runners then purchased gloves for the runners so that they could run in the winter and keep contact with the ice-cold railing.
But why not run if he can still be competitive?
"I like doing this," he said. "I was a participant for many years and I thought it might be nice to be on the other side of things. I really do enjoy it."
He said going to the Olympic Trials was the highlight of his running career. Both of the 1980 and '84 marathon trials races were held in Buffalo, N.Y. He said the first four miles of the race were on U.S. soil, then the route crossed into Canada where it finished.
He still runs - always on the road - but has a hard time choosing his favorite routes.
"We just have so many beautiful places here," he said. "That's a really hard question."