Take your picks for the Midnight Sun Run
Weather looks good, it will be in the 60s or even high 50s, partly cloudy, and not any appreciable wind.
There is always a good chance for a ringer--and I always like that--to sweep away a victory trophy at this race. I haven't heard of any.
For men Jasonn Walker has been the toast of the town. He won Beat Beethoven and Chena River Run 5K in convincing fashion this spring, the latter in just over 16 minutes on a slow course. But you can't count out West Valley Alum and 2 time winner Tony Tomsich, who recently graduated from Western Washington University. If Tomsich, who ran 14:36 for 5000 m this spring, is in town and healthy he should win easily in sub 32.
After that it's wide open for a podium spot, but to tell you the truth I think it's going to be one of the Interior Region's young high schoolers. Watch for Delta Junction sophomore Andrey Ionashku. He ran 9:44 for 3200 this spring. Sophomore Kyle Hanson from Lathrop ran a 4:31 1600, while West Valley Junior James Leder ran 10:08 in just his second 3200 at the state meet. These kids will push and pull veteran former champions, and masters favorites, Mike Kramer and Kevin Brinegar, with UAF grads Chris Eversman and Einar Often also in the mix. Lathrop grad Zach Ginn ran some good college times last spring (15:49 5000 m) and is a darkhorse who could be anywhere from 1st to 5th. UAF assitant coach Matt Dunlap has some impressive, relatively recent PRs for 5K and 10K.
1. Walker - 33:06 (adjust places if Tomsisch runs)
2. Ionashku - 33:50
3. Ginn - 34:05
Leder, Hanson, and Brinegar, Eversman, Kramer, Dunlap, and Often should all be in the 34s if they run.
One thing for sure, there will be a new women's winner. Crystal Pitney won five in a row from 2005 to 2009, after taking a surprise 2nd as a 13 yr old in 2004. Pitney has opted for a US Biathlon Team training camp in Anchorage this year.
Maggie Callahan will be tough to beat. Coming off of a great track season for the University of Arizona, where she ran a 16:38 5000 m and scitillating 10:16 for the 3000 m steeplechasae (and 2nd in the PAC 10 conference), Callahan has a good shot at an unprecedented top 10 finish. After that, the race will be wide open. The local high school girls, including Callahan's sister Molly, while talented probably do not have the seasoning and miles to run sub 40. Melanie Nussbaumer several top 5 finishes. Ashley Feaver has been running well lately and appears ready for a sub 40, while Charity Walker and Molly Yazwinski eked out sub 40s last year.
1. Maggie Callahan - 36:51 (but that could be 35:XX if she wants to push)
2. Ashley Feaver - 39:20
3. Charity Walker - 39:32
Nussbaumer is a a darkhorse for 2nd.
Final note about my fitness, or lack thereof. My base training from Nov through April was about 40% of normal and I'm feeling it. If I can hit mid-low 36s it will be a good day. Top 10 seems to be a long shot, and if last year's results are any indication, top 20 might be a fight.
Apologies to Melanie Nussbaumer of Fairbanks. I had her mixed up with Sarah Dillman of Santa Barbara California, who placed 2nd in 2007 and 4th and 2008. Thank you for the clarification Melanie.