Sunday, March 15, 2009

Runnin' In The 2009 Season

So, the first big busy weekend of the 2009 running and racing season is in the books. It started with 5 races on Saturday (Polson's March Meltdown, Anaconda's AOH St. Patrick's Day Race, Great Falls' St. Patrick's Day Dash and the Run to the Pub in Bozeman) and finished with 3 races on Sunday (St. Patrick's Fun Run in Missoula, Sanders County Cancer Network Fun Run in Plains, and Billings' Shamrock Run).

I'll start off the reports with the Polson race, since I was able to attend that event personally. It was a crisp morning on the south shores of Flathead Lake - in spite of that, approximately 125 people showed up to take part in this Polson Running event. There was a 5K and a 10K, with the vast majority of the participants running and walking the shorter event.

At the start, the front end pretty quickly broke up to 3 runners. Myself in the 5K, Thomas Everett (Missoula Hellgate grad, current freshman at South Dakota Tech) and Matt Seeley (long-time tri-stud now living in Polson) in the 10K. Matt and Thomas were pretty even at the 5K turnaround point and led me by about 25 meters.

From the turnaround, I was pretty much alone for the rest of the 5K, just having to weave through the traffic of the runners and walkers that were still on their way out. I was a bit surprised to hit the finish at 16:34. Although I'm starting to get fit, there was no way that I was ready to run that fast yet at 5K. In talking to Matt later, he relayed that the turnaround point was set probably 150 to 200 meters short (making the course a total of 300 to 400 meters short). Although I would have loved for the distance to be closer to a full 3-miles, Matt's estimates made more sense. So, I'll take the win; but, was disappointed to not be able to check my true fitness level on an accurate course.

In the 10K, Matt steadily pulled away from Thomas over the last 3/4's of the race. Although they didn't have results up before everyone left, I believe that Matt's time was in the mid-34 range. Pretty solid run. Especially for a guy who is facing some serious aerodynamic problems with the Grizzly Adam's beard that he is sporting this winter !!!!! :-) Thomas rolled in pretty soon after Matt; and, I would guess he was in the 36's. Ultimately, I would expect that they would have results up on the Polson Running site at

Also in the morning was the Run To The Pub 10K and Half-Marathon in Bozemn. These were both point to point courses that started SW of Bozeman and finished near Bogert Park just off Main Street in Bozeman. Bozeman continued to show it's ability to host big, popular races with a total of 745 runners finishing (183 in 1/2 Marathon (90 women, 93 men) and 562 in 10K (340 women, 222 men)).

In the 1/2 Marathon, Rye Palen and Jenny Newton of Missoula continue to run strong this spring. After solid 2nd and 3rd places finishes at Snow Joke, Rye came home the champion today in 1:27:32 with Jenny in 3rd at 1:30:16. Sandwiched between the two Run Wild Missoula teammates was Claire Anderson of Bozeman in 1:29:43. The women's master's title went to Heather Lucero of Great Falls (5th overall women) in 1:33:50.

On the men's side, the top 4 were Todd Brinkley of Great Falls (1:17:49), Jeff Beal of Lee, NH (1:18:09.7), Tim Dumas of Bozeman (1st Master) (1:18:11.1) and Scott Sneddon of Billings (2nd Master)(1:18:11.8). Super close race - only 22 seconds separating the top 4 and only 2 seconds between 2nd and 4th. And, the master's race was decided by less than a second. It must have been an amazing race to be part of.

In the 10K, the women were led by a Heidi Fry (36:15), Holly Walker (37:16) and Ann Sorenson (1st Master)(37:27). Kelly Fulton led the men home in 31:29 with the next 3 places taken by Jesse Berwald (32:55), Ned Miller (33:03) and Dewey Peacock (33:28). The 1st Master was Mark Slater (48) (8th overall) in 35:18.

In speaking to Kelly, he felt that the 10K may have been a bit short. Although both courses were aided by a net downhill, he thought that the finish was a bit shorter than last year's event. And, the times would seem to bear this out. Kelly is reasonably fit; but, he didn't realistically think that he was set for a sub 31:30. And, having 3 women under 37:30 is pretty unusual for any Montana race, not to mention one in mid-March. Regardless, the competition at this race was super. Between the competition and the free pint of beer at the finish - this is definitely a race to consider in future years.

Full results can be found at

Also on the agenda yesterday was the St. Pat's Run (4-Mile) in Great Falls - which, in part, is a fundraiser for the UGF track and XC teams. In a field of 48 runners, the top 5 finishers were:

1. Ian Blair M 23:16
2. Moses Leavens M 23:40
3. Chris Tippett M 24:51 Update courtesy of Ray Hunt - By my mistake, I overlooked the fact that Chris appears to have been the 1st Masters runner). Congrats to Chris. (TMB)
4. Chris Fraser M 25:02
5. Bob Bolland M 25:16 (Top Master??) (Looks like Bobby B is getting his legs back under him after a few years of injury issues).

Lis Buss was the first female in 29:32

Results can be found at:

The AOH race results haven't been posted yet; but, I expect that you'll be able to find them in the next day or so at

I also expect that you'll be able to find results from the Billings Rim Runners Shamrock Run at within a few days. Looks like it was a warm but breezy afternoon in Billings. Will be curious to see what kind of a day Alan King had at his hometown St. Pat's race.

At the Sanders County Cancer Network Run for Fun, it was a small affair with only 8 runners in the timed 6-miler. But, they were led by Jacob Naegeli of Thompson Falls. Jacob was an all-state XC runner with the Thompson Falls Bluehawks (including as part of the team that won the 2007 state championship). He was home on the first day of Spring Break (getting home at 2:00 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning) from Earlham College (Indiana) (where he was the top XC runner on the DIII team as a freshman). As part of a 12-mile day, he threw in a controlled 37:41 on a course that included some decent climbs and snow covered/icy footing on about 800 meters of the course.

The only race that I'm not sure of where to find results was the St. Pat's Run in Missoula. If I can find anything out, I'll be sure to post her or to find a link to a website.

So, a big weekend. It's exciting to have the racing season back in swing.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heck, even if it was only a 3 miler...good for you for the first race back Tony!