Monday, May 12, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls

Sure, we all know and love that line as a song by Motley Crew. But, last Saturday, it was the theme on the streets of Billings as the 27th Women's Run took place with a record field of 6,441 women.

Sarah Graves (Ballantine)(former member of MSU-Billings XC team and 52nd women @ April's Boston Marathon) led the field of 2,001 5-miles with a time of @ 31:09. 47-year old Karen Sanford Gall (Billings) finished 2nd @ 32:56 (Karen was a 4-time Oly Trials Marathon Qualifier) and Nicole Lair (Billings) rounded out the top 3 @ 33:25. [Of note, the 8th place finisher (34:33) was Lisa Rainsberger (nee Weidenbach). Rainsberger was the pasta night speaker. For those of you who recall, Rainsberger finished in the dreaded 4th place slot at two consecutive Oly Trial Marathons.]

Meanwhile, the 4,440 2-mile finishers were led by master's runner Kathie Perrins (41) of Columbus in 12:22. Running 12:25 for second place was 2004 Oly Trials Maratoner, 48-year old Kathy Aragon. And, right on Kathy's heels was her 8th grade daughter Danielle (13) in 12:49. Next year, Dani will join her sister Alexa as part of the power house girls distance squad at Billings Senior.

But, let's set the race details aside for a minute. 6,441 runners and walkers. Think about that number. That's more women in one event than reside in most towns in the state. And, once the numbers are in, it will rank as one of the top 10, if not the top 5, women only running events in the United States. In fact, the 2-mile alone will likely be in the top 10.

It's a great testimony to the commitment of the women's run board of directors and the overall Billings community. And, not only is it a great running event and a celebration of women's health, the event gives back thousands of dollars every year to the community. The provide funds to such causes as providing mammograms for under-priveledged women, women's programs at the Billings YWCA, funds to the Yellowstone Rim Runners, and scholarships to female runners on the MSU-B and Rocky Mountain College XC squads. All in all, there's lots of good connected to this event.

For those women of you out there who haven't experienced the event before, I encourage you to put it on your calendar for next year.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails


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