Saturday saw the 38th running of the Riverbank Run in Missoula. Even though the weather turned windy later in the day, the morning saw some real nice racing conditions. At the time of the 10K (9:00 a.m.), the temps were in the mid-40's with little to no wind. And, it really didn't start to get ugly until noonish. By that time the races were all done and complete.
First out of the gate was the 10K, with Jimmy Grant toeing the line to see if he could defend his 2009 title. And, with a solid 31:44 time, he got the win and a continuation of his stellar 2010 season. It was a tough win with a slew of solid times coming in behind. 2nd was UM assistant coach Phil Keller with his 31:53; and, another 10 seconds back was Kiefer Hahn in 32:03. The top 5 were rounded out by Mike Wolfe of Helena in 32:42, then Joseph Peelgrino ( a new UM grad student) in 33:23. Courtesty of Ray Hunt, here's the lead pack of the 10K.
Phil with glasses, Kiefer in white, Wolfe in Grey, Jimmy with hat, Pellegrino in red
Top men master was Brent Ruby (42) of Missoula. His 34:38 placed him 6th overall. 2nd master was Scott Gaiser at 35:40 (9th overall) and 3rd was Jeff Braun - 10th overall at 36:03.
The first woman was Jenny Newton, with her 38:30, giving her a 75 second win over Katherine Aune of Missoula. First master's woman was Mary Pat Ostger of Stevinsville at 43:44.
Then came the 5K (and the 2nd leg of the race's trifecta - where athletes run the 10K, 5K and mile and the lowest combined time is the winner); and, like the 10K, the lead was dominated by the trifectors (hey - that's a great made up scrabble word isn't it :-) ). Here Pellegrino got the better of the 10K boys with a stellar 15:09 allowing him to break the tape.
Pellegrino leading Keller and Kiefer into the 5K finish
Next in was Phil Keller at 15:13, Kiefer at 15:15, Quentin Decker at 15:25, then Collin Fehr at 15:29 and Mike Wolfe at 15:42. 7th overall and 1st master was Antoine Cuervo of Whitefish in 15:05.
Meg Lerch was the women's winner and was unchallenged with her 16:27 for 11th - missing out on a top 10 finish by only 2 seconds.
Then comes the last bit of pain for the trifecta folks. The mile - after 9.3 miles of hot running you then have to put the hammer down, keep the lactic acid at bay and let the lungs burn. And; boy, did they burn it up.
Clearly, it was hot and fast right from the start and stayed that way to the end. Pellegrino picked up his second win of the day with his 4:44. Right on his heels were Kiefer Hahn at 4:45 and Phil Keller at 4:46. Mike Wolfe rounded out the sub-5:00's with his 4:58.
In the end, Keller got the trifecta win with a combined tme of 51:52. Then Kiefer at 52:02, Pellegrino in 53:15 and Wolfe at 53:20. The women's winner was Jeenifer Sauer with a 68:24 combined time.
Great day in River City.
A day later was the Ice Breaker Road Race festival in Great Falls. More of the big guns were on hand, with a head to head match up of Alan King and Thomas Jodoin. And, they didn't disappoint in the marquee 5-mile event.
With Bernard Langat (the requisite Kenyan getting the win in just under 25:00), Alan pulled off a 2nd place overall with a 25:39. Jodoin got the 3rd overall (both of them beating the other "ringer") at 26:21. Although some heavy rain affected the race, it didn't seem to slow the boys at all. Kyle Strode of Helena kept his hot 2010 year going, taking the masters win at 28:22.
The Kenyan women took the top 2 spots; but, then came Nicole Hunt at 29:33 (15th overall) and Dani Shahan in 30:01 (16th overall). I believe that this was Nicole's last run as a sub-master - she'll be a 40 plusser come Bloomsday. For this event - Laurie Detzi was the women's master champ.
At the 3-mile distance - Moses Leavens got the win at 15:44, with jared Reyes (of UGF) in 2nd at 16:06. 3rd overall, and 1st masters was Antoine Cuervo (coming back a day after his 7th overall/1st master run at the Riverbank Run) in 16:25. Of note on the masters side was 50-year old Charlie Lucero - 8th overall - in 17:42.
The women's winner (and 1st master as well) was Kathie Perrins in 18:56. Another 50+ athlete had a big day - multiple 3-mile winner in past years Suzie Kaluza of Butte was 3rd overall today in 19:42.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard