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Final Salmon Run race draws the big bucks

Posted: August 8, 2013 - 9:55pm
Mike Crawford sprints to the finish line of the fifth and final race in the Salmon Run Series on Wednesday evening at the Tsalteshi Trails. The race had 140 runners turn out, a new high for the fast-growing series organized by 16-year-old Allie Ostrander.
Mike Crawford sprints to the finish line of the fifth and final race in the Salmon Run Series on Wednesday evening at the Tsalteshi Trails. The race had 140 runners turn out, a new high for the fast-growing series organized by 16-year-old Allie Ostrander.

A sprint for the win in the final hundred feet, a different Ostrander winning the women’s race, 140 runners showing up and door prizes all around. Wednesday’s Salmon Run Series five-kilometer race had it all at the Tsalteshi Trails.

But those things were not what had the public’s attention. Instead, it was the suited man running across the line to finish ninth.

Mike Crawford issued a declaration earlier this summer that if the local community could raise at least $500 in the Suit Up, Pledge Up! Challenge for the Kenai Watershed Forum, he would run the race in full costume — suit and tie. And as a side bet, if he could finish in the top 10, he challenged businesses and individuals to double the funds by matching the community contribution.

Sure enough, his time of 19 minutes, 55 seconds was only bettered by eight other runners, and provided a comfortable distance between him and 11th place.

“This is the sweetest ninth place ever,” Crawford said between heavy breaths.

The running series, organized by 16-year-old Allie Ostrander, finished its fifth and final race of 2013 with 140 finishers, topping the 100-runner mark each time, a remarkable improvement from the inaugural season in 2012.

Even though he succeeded in his goal, Crawford said he bet against himself in his own contest, and will still pay $1,000 to the Watershed Forum. That’s why he ran with a check in the inside pocket of his suit.

“It might be smudged, we’ll see,” Crawford said. “I got a little bit of an elevated temperature out there.”

Crawford, a board member of the Tsalteshi Trails Association and a website developer, said he wouldn’t be running in a suit and tie anytime soon again.

“It’s awful, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Ever,” he said.

Right from the start, it was clear that Crawford would have to fight for his promise.

“I noticed that right out of the gate, I was in 10th and I thought, ‘I better hang on.’ I ended up passing a couple people here and there,” he said. “Midway through the race, Fox (Michaud) passed me and asked me what place I’m in, and I said I think I’m in ninth, and he was like, ‘OK, later!’”

Ahead of him, the battle for the lead was almost as entertaining as seeing where Crawford would finish.

Micah Hilbish ended up winning with a time of 17:42, which was just a hair faster than what Jordan Theisen could muster, as the two high school cross-country athletes thrilled the crowd with a drag race to the finish line. Theisen said he and Hilbish spent much of the race talking and conversing with Adam Reimer not far behind.

Theisen was attempting to make it three-for-three in the Salmon Run Series this summer, having won the first two. For Hilbish, it’s his first win in the race series.

Reimer finished third, 21 seconds behind Hilbish and Theisen, and said he was just trying to keep up with his younger challengers.

“Those kids had a lot left in the tank,” Reimer said. “They were having a conversation, I was just running. They’re young kids and they’re pretty good.”

Taylor Ostrander, Allie’s older sister, was the fastest female on Wednesday, finishing sixth overall in an impressive time of 18:48, and giving her a clean sweep of the four Salmon Run races she entered this summer.

Reimer will be hosting a race of his own on Aug. 17 on the Tsalteshi Trails — the Fountain of Youth Pursuit — an age-graded race that will seed runners into 20 different waves based on their age and gender. The fastest runners (men aged 20 through 33) will start last, 20 minutes after the initial group (men 77 and up, and women 63 and up).

“People could use these races to build up and get running,” Reimer said. “These are 5Ks, and that one’s a 10K, so it’s a step up. We thought it would be a good time after these ones are done.”

The funds for the Fountain of Youth race, like the Salmon Run Series organized by Ostrander, will be donated to a good cause. Ostrander’s series helps the Kenai Watershed Forum, and the Youth race will benefit the Tsalteshi Trails.

“I’m interested in it, because we want to see a race where a different person wins,” Reimer said. “I have a friend who is 50-something and he has a 13-year-old kid, and with the start table we have, he will get a one-minute head start on his son. He told me that this is the first year where his son has been able to outrun him, so we think we have it calibrated really well.

“There’s not many 10Ks around here, usually it’s a 5K or 10-miler or something, and different people might have a chance to win, and it’s also a way for the whole family to participate.”

Salmon Run Series #5

Wednesday

at Tsalteshi Trails

About five kilometers

1. Micah Hilbish 17:42; 2. Jordan Theisen 17:43; 3. Adam Reimer 18:03; 4. Mark Blannning 18:37; 5. Nate Mole 18:47; 6. Taylor Ostrander 18:48; 7. Brenner Musgrave 18:56; 8. Fox Michaud 19:27; 9. Mike Crawford 19:55; 10. Gloria Park 20:18; 11. Kyle Austin 20:30; 12. Sancho Ponza 20:52; 13. Bill Coghill 21:09; 14. Scott Huff 21:17; 15. Cody Nevendorf 21:19; 16. Derek Schramm 21:22; 17. Paul Ostrander 21:22; 18. Brian Dusek 21:30; 19. Daniel Brazitis 21:42; 20. Steve Gilles 21:56; 21. Carl Kincaid 22:07; 22. Logan Hemphill 22:16; 23. Nicholai Smith 22:22; 24. Jamie Nelson 22:30; 25. Becca Ford 22:39.

26. Lauren Bauder 22:40; 27. Rachel Nevendorf 22:48; 28. Rustin Hitchcock 22:57; 29. Tracy Pitts 23:04; 30. John-Mark Pothast 23:30; 31. Chris Parker 23:33; 32. Tristan Landry 23:38; 33. Autumn Ball 23:42; 34. Tom Bennett 23:45; 35. Mike Olsen 23:58; 36. Gina Gregoire 24:04:00; 37. Ryan Peterson 24:09:00; 38. Talon Musgrave 24:20:00; 39. Alex Bergholtz 24:21:00; 40. Addison Gibson 24:30:00; 41. Ithaca Bergholtz 24:36:00; 42. Ben Hanson 24:56:00; 43. Emily Kornelis 25:00:00; 44. David Edwards-Smith 25:01:00; 45. Clark Fair 25:02:00; 46. Dan Pascucci 25:21:00; 47. Angie Brennan 25:37:00; 48. Joe Grosfield 25:51:00; 49. Jeff Belluomini 26:06:00; 50. Loren Hollers 26:21:00.

51. Regina Theisen 26:49:00; 52. Jodi Hanson 27:12:00; 53. Alice Anderson 27:24:00; 54. John Park 27:31:00; 55. Amy Hettinger 27:43:00; 56. Mariam Olivo 27:50:00; 57. Jim Krein 27:55:00; 58. Christine Bergholtz 28:23:00; 59. Johni Blankenship 28:25:00; 60. Hannah Pothast 28:28:00; 61. Katie Ring 28:34:00; 62. David Schramm 28:38:00; 63. Lanie Hughes 28:43:00; 64. Haylee Hunter 28:49:00; 65. Kevin Lauver 28:49:00; 66. Jeff Perschbacher 29:05:00; 67. Jane Fuerstenau 29:13:00; 68. Sheilah-Margaret Pothast 29:21:00; 69. John Pothast 29:22:00; 70. Jason Evoy 29:25:00; 71. Liz Leduc 29:26:00; 72. Brennan Jackson 29:27:00; 73. Lisa Jackson 29:38:00; 74. Zach Buckbee 29:43:00; 75. Jason Buckbee 29:44:00.

76. Tim Cundin 29:49:00; 77. Terri Cowart 29:55:00; 78. Brittany Hollers 29:59:00; 79. Scott Davis 30:00:00; 80. Anastasia Massera 30:05:00; 81. Breauna Blanning 30:05:00; 82. Kenda Blanning 30:06:00; 83. Rich Stables 30:18:00; 84. Kara Johnston 30:19:00; 85. Violet Zerbe 30:22:00; 86. Jackson Blackwell 30:31:00; 87. Jack Blackwell 30:32:00; 88. Alex Schramm 30:54:00; 89. Regina Daniels 30:56:00; 90. Mitch Michaud 31:08:00; 91. Kate Swaby 31:18:00; 92. Marina Schramm 31:26:00; 93. Heather Schramm 31:27:00; 94. Kasey Paxton 32:42:00; 95. Mackenzie Lindeman 32:42:00; 96. Brady Evoy 33:14:00; 97. Barb Ream 33:28:00; 98. Samantha Ream 33:28:00; 99. Rosy Drath 33:45:00; 100. Lela Rosin 33:53:00.

101. Scott Rosin 33:53:00; 102. Mary Rhyner 34:09:00; 103. Maria Sweppy 34:33:00; 104. Lucy Kaufer 34:33:00; 105. Robin Kaufer 34:34:00; 106. Sarah Hollers 35:03:00; 107. Pamela Highley 35:18:00; 108. Madison Chanley 35:42:00; 109. Patsy Marston 35:49:00; 110. Boden Wight 36:06:00; 111. Jami Wight 36:07:00; 112. Aiden Huff 36:58:00; 113. Lanie Lauver 37:28:00; 114. Angie Nelson 37:56:00; 115. Reean Pitts 38:05:00; 116. LaRae Paxton 38:07:00; 117. Jennifer Tollackson 38:08:00; 118. Brenda Ahlberg 39:49:00; 119. Johna Beech 39:54:00; 120. Kelly Hicks 40:49:00; 121. Robert Carson 41:16:00; 122. Rob Carson 41:20:00; 123. Nicole Egholm 42:22:00; 124. Karah Huff 42:27:00; 125. Marly Perschbacher 42:53:00.

126. Zach Hanson 42:56:00; 127. Marilyn Albright 42:59:00; 128. Ray Chumley Jr. 43:03:00; 129. Rachel Wimberly 43:46:00; 130. Yvonne Oren 44:02:00; 131. Rinna Carson 44:02:00; 132. Hydra Murray 44:15:00; 133. Leah English 44:24:00; 134. Julie English 44:25:00; 135. Emma Murray 44:37:00; 136. Petra Murray 44:42:00; 137. Owen Buckbee 44:43:00; 138. Anna Buckbee 47:49:00; 139. Penny Furnish 47:49:00; 140. Cassandra Winslow 48:11:00.

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