On a cool, wet, night, the race up front sounded exciting although I wasn't able to see much after a mile and a half. Let's see how my predictions went.
1. Tony Tomsich (32:41) - a little slower than predicted, but he was just going for the win. Hopefully Tomsich will keep running after college and will return for an all out effort. He could probably run 30 min, maybe faster on this course.
2. Justin Houck - (33:10) Here's your ringer, Houck ran 30:16 10K for the NCAA Division I Portland University cross country team last fall, and placed 159th at NCAA nationals. Houck almost missed the start of the race this time. There were no announcements and we were just milling about at the start when a woman with a cell phone walked up to the start line and started counting down 5-4-3-2...while Houck and a couple other runners were jogging back to the start line after doing a last minute strider. Wearing arm sleeves (it wasn't THAT cold!) Houck hadn't quite made his way back when we took off, so he had to swim upstream a few seconds, before jumping into the race. He passed me about 200 m in, and was up with the front runners in no time--still that may have cost him in the end, because his 5 min first mile was actually closer to 4:45 or 4:50. (You won't see that kind of insight in the Newsminer!)
3. Stian Stensland - (33:42) Stensland took it out hard and set the pace early on and was probably at 5:00 for the first mile, so he dropped off to battle for 3rd-5th.
With five men under 34 min (Kramer 4th) and eight under 35 min, this was the most competitive Sun Run since I've been here, if not for more than a decade.
1. Crystal Pitney - (37:41) Just a few seconds off of my prediction, but she won again. A mild, pleasant surprise. I coached Crystal for the latter part of her high school career, but she fell on hard times during her freshman year at college and this was her first race since last October. Welcome back to Fairbanks and the winners circle!
2. Maggie Callahan - (38:02) The race ended much like last year with the two running side by side for a few miles before Pitney broke away. Let's hope they keep coming back and setting the standard
3. Melanie Nussbaumer (39:31) That's a nice run for the 25 year old Fairbanks runner.
The women were also fast this year, with five breaking 40 minutes and two more just missing it by seconds.
1. Mike Kramer (33:49) - I've been going over the archives (old Newsminer
articles and results pages), and with six years yet to count (1986 - 91), only Bob Murphy had broken 34 minutes at Midnight Sun Run as a masters, a feat he accomplished three times. His record of 32:26 still stands, but Kramer's run is (so far) in the top 3.
2. Kevin Brinegar (33:52) - I knew Kramer and Brinegar would be close, that must have been a heck of a battle. I tip my Palin certified Russia Yamal hat to them. (My best as a 40-41 yr old was 34:07, but that was 3000 miles and 10 years ago). Hopefully they'll have some more close races and bring those times down even further.
3. Boy was I off on this one. Dork butt here runs 35:45 for the third 40+ slot. Possibly a new 50+ record (the best I've seen so far is 37:17 by Jim Loftus when he was 50).
4th and 5th went to Klaus Wuttig with 36:12, who has become stronger each year, and Mark Lindberg in 36:17. Mark ran back to back marathons in April-May, just two week apart, and it looked like he hasn't quite recovered from that. He'll be back.
1. Dorli McWayne (42:51) - At 56, still going strong, McWayne walked away with the title.
2. Cindy Bravo (44:36) Sub 7:30, solid for mid-40s
3. Lisa Heaney (45:01) likewise a good time.
UP AND COMERS
18 year old Werner Hoefler ran a 34:50 in his first serious attempt at 10K, and 17 year old Zach Ginn went 35:55. Max Donaldson, just 12 ran 43:56. Recent high school graduate Kayla Teslow ran 40:01, and with 5:10 mile speed could become a force in the future.
More on other masters records, rankings, and maybe trivia later this week.