Rain Or Shine – The Running’s Fine
In spite of early morning showers, 29 hearty soles (pun intended) toed the starting line for the annual Plains Day 5K Run. The run, which kicked of the days’ celebration of all things Plains, was held on streets in town and on the roads along the base of the “P” Hill.
Although a steady rain made course set up and registration a bit of a challenge, the skies decided to turn off the tap just minutes before the start of the run. And, with cool temps, overcast cast and just the slightest of breezes, the conditions were almost ideal for distance running.
And, no one made more of the conditions than recent U of M grad Dennis Brands. In town to visit his classmate, Valley Press reporter Matt Unrau, Brands took the win in 17:09. It was an outstanding time, when one considers the almost 200’ of climbing along Highway 28 and Hillview Road in the 2nd mile. In those first two miles, Brands ran in step with Trout Creek’s Jacob Naegeli. Using the speed he honed as a miler on the Grizzly track team, Brands let loose on the downhill 3rd mile and pulled away from Naegleli, winning by a margin of just over 1 minute.
Naegeli, who just finished his freshman year as the number one runner on the cross-country and track squads at Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana), is still working back to full fitness after a hip injury this spring. In spite of his lack of race sharpness, Naegeli still was almost a minute faster than Plains resident Tony Banovich (18:10 to 19:04).
Close behind Banovich was Plains’ Carter Montgomery (19:32), who recently finished an outstanding freshman year at Plains High School. Just one week ago, Montgomery was competing in the Class B State Track Meet in Kalispell. Rounding out the top 5 overall was Austin Pullan of Thompson Falls (20:18).
On the female side, Michelle Yoshinaga of Dixon decided to take in the Plains Day activities while visiting her parents in Thompson Falls. Running 26:13, she took first place honors in front of Shauna West of Plains (27:24) and Molly Tingley of Plains (31:15).
In addition to runners from Plains, Thompson Falls and Trout Creek, athletes from Big Fork, Missoula, Dixon, Kalispell and Somers also came to town to take in the wonderful Clark Fork Valley hospitality that can be found on the Wild Horse Plains.
Race organizers would like to thank event sponsors Sanderson Stewart and Quality Landscape Seeding, Inc.; the resources of McGowan’s Grocery, The Runner’s Edge and the Brooker family; and, race volunteers Carol Brooker, Erin McCarthy, Peg McCarthy, Bill Naegeli, and David, Lisa and Jessica Read.