Bergholtz, Fellman take titles at Run for Women

Anniversaries are a great chance to reflect on how far one has come and where one wants to end up.

 

Alex Bergholtz used the 30th anniversary of The LeeShore Center Kenai Peninsula Run for Women on Saturday to do just that.

Bergholtz, a 2015 Kenai Central graduate who will be a junior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, took the five-kilometer race in 19 minutes, 51 seconds, while Chugiak’s Jillian Fellman won the 10K run at 48:02. The races, which had 117 combined finishers, start and finish at the Kenai park strip.

The last time Bergholtz did the Run for Women was in 2012, when she was just about to be a sophomore at Kenai Central.

“It was the first year I really got into running,” Bergholtz said. “Allie Ostrander convinced me to join the running team.

“I hated running for a long time.”

That will go down as one of the many ways Ostrander, whose most recent accomplishments are an NCAA steeplechase title and victory in the Mount Marathon women’s race, impacted running on the Kenai Peninsula.

Bergholtz ran the 5K in 24:55 that day, but running grew on her to the point where she has focused on it at UAF and improved her Run for Women time by over five minutes.

Last season, she said she occupied one of the top two spots for the Nanooks cross-country team. This season, the chemistry major is hoping to be the team’s top runner.

And Bergholtz now genuinely loves running, with her name popping up frequently in community races, including the Salmon Run Series — a series that is, of course, the brainchild of Ostrander.

“I love doing community races and I love seeing everybody enjoying the outdoors,” she said. “I’m happy to be here supporting running and safe relationships in general.”

Bergholtz’s presence also broke up a potential sweep of the championships by friends Fellman and Soldotna’s Shari BeDunnah.

“Our husbands are longtime friends,” BeDunnah said of her husband, Jason, and Fellman’s husband, Jacob. “We were in each other’s weddings.”

BeDunnah finished second at 21:06, then went right back onto the course to help children Malakai, 9; Khloey, 7; and Tungsten, 6, reach the finish line.

“I used to push them in a stroller,” BeDunnah said. “They’re old enough to run, or at least I make them old enough to run.”

BeDunnah has proven to be a formidable runner when she doesn’t have to push the stroller, winning the Celebrate Life! 5K Run and Walk Aug. 5 in Soldotna.

“It was a perfect day for running today,” she said. “Not too hot and not too cold.”

Fellman made a spur-of-the-moment decision to race the Run for Women for the first time. She was in town for the baptism of her daughter Kyla, 10 months, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Soldotna.

“I was surprised when the 5K runners split off from the 10K runners,” Fellman said. “A volunteer told me I was the first runner and I didn’t believe it.”

But finishing first in a Kenai Peninsula race shouldn’t have been too big of a surprise, because Fellman won the Cooper Landing Trail Run in early June.

She was impressed with the Run for Women, particularly all the volunteers stationed at each of the intersections crossed in Kenai to make sure the runners are safe.

Anna Widman, the cross-country coach at Nikiski, shook off a team run up the Skyline Trail on Friday to take second place in 49:29. Widman said she mainly did the race to support Mickinzie Ticknor, a junior at Kenai Central who mounted a Facebook campaign to use the event to raise money for The LeeShore Center.

Tucker Mueller won the five-kilometer boys race at 20:23, while Samuel Anders was the 10K boys winner at 51:18.

Barbara Waters, the Education and Training Coordinator at The LeeShore Center, marked her 30th year at the event by serving as the race director.

Waters volunteered at the event for the first 15 years, then has worked with The LeeShore Center for the past 15 years.

“I’ve never gotten to run it,” she said. “Maybe when I retire, but then I’m sure they’ll want me as a volunteer.”

She said it took over 60 volunteers to put on the event, which serves to raise awareness about The LeeShore Center and its mission. The mission is, “To promote healthy families and a violence-free community while providing a safe haven for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Waters highlighted four programs in particular: a Batterer’s Intervention Program to assist batterers in stopping their violent behavior, a Child Care Assitance Program, a 32-bed emergency shelter providing safe housing for women and their children victimized by violence and sexual assault, and a 23-bed Transitional Living Center.

Waters said great sponsors came together from Cooper Landing to Homer to provide some extra-special prizes at the event, including two round-trip tickets on the Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Denali and a three-hour scenic float trip on the Kenai River.

Kenai Peninsula Run for Women

Five-kilometer women’s race

14 and under — 1. Anna Cannava, 29 minutes, 26 seconds; 2. Karalyn Veihdeffer, 29:49; 3. Khloey BeDunnah, 35:19; 4. Ashlee Fann, 35:34; 5. Luthien Collver, 35:58; 6. Eliza Anders, 36:48; 7. Andie McQueen, 43:46; 8. Austen McQueen, 45:40; 9. Ella Veihdeffer, 48:32; 10. Rosemary Dura, 50:23; 11. Amelia Mueller, 59:44; 12. Jenica Anderson, 1:04:56.

15 to 17 — 1. Jaycie Calvert, 22:02; 2. Ithaca Bergholtz, 30:46; 3. Mickinzie Ticknor, 30:47; 4. Kyran Matturro, 30:47; 5. Vivian Ceresoli, 59:45.

18 to 29 — 1. Alex Bergholtz, 19:51; 2. Mallory Millay, 24:13; 3. Maya Johnson, 28:55; 4. Alyssa Frothingham, 29:56; 5. Jacynne Collver, 35:59; 6. Danielle Jackson, 43:49; 7. Shelby Jackson, 43:50; 8. Kailey Crowell, 50:23; 9. Sydney Tyler, 56:01; 10. Jessica Roper, 59:53.

30 to 39 — 1. Shari BeDunnah, 21:06; 2. Jacquelyn Kennedy, 26:14; 3. Tessa Luecker, 26:18; 4. Viorica Thompson, 26:19; 5. Kristy Finch, 28:14; 6. Brianna Force, 28:48; 7. KatieMae Tallent, 31:55; 8. Nikki Dixon, 35:29; 9. Tammy Fann, 35:34; 10. Anya Boutney, 52:09; 11. Farrah Collver, 52:11.

40 to 49 — 1. Sohnya Johnson, 27:44; 2. Katrina Cannava, 29:26; 3. Bent Selby, 37:43; 4. Wendy Schmitt, 40:39; 5. Michelle DeYoung, 41:07; 6. Thi Pijahn, 42:34; 7. Casandra Lehmberg, 43:26; 8. Yvonne Oren, 44:26; 9. Melissa LaPlante, 45:41; 10. Kelly Lawson, 46:46; 11. Cassandra Winslow, 49:14; 12. Susan Nabholz, 49:24; 13. Krista McNeil, 49:44; 14. Dana Phillips, 55:59; 15. Amy Felske, 57:32.

50 to 59 — 1. Jane Ereland, 28:34; 2. Renee Helie, 29:02; 3. Denise Lutton, 33:40; 4. Karen Murray, 35:21; 5. Maryjane Hadaway, 40:47; 6. Tina Williamson, 40:57; 7. Monica English, 42:00; 8. Yolanda Theard, 42:30; 9. Terry Edmundson, 44:21; 10. Penny Furnish, 49:15; 11. Margaret Gillman, 54:44; 12. LaDawn Druce, 55:37; 13. Holly Kiel, 55:44; 14. Lane Beauchamp, 56:03; 15. Kathy Gardner, 59:50; 16. Emily Nicholson, 1:05:01; 17. Leila Gough, 1:09:10.

60 to 69 — 1. Sue Seggerman, 23:40; 2. Terri Cowart, 30:30; 3. Doris Palancia, 40:36; 4. Paula Standefer, 42:49; 5. Louise Martin, 48:26; 6. Barbara Bowen, 53:49; 7. Carolann Barum, 54:44; 8. Sara Moore, 55:36; 9. Kelley Smith, 55:37; 10. Susan Smalley, 1:05:44; 11. Cynthia Todd, 1:13:37.

70 and up — 1. Mary Bodnar, 40:27; 2. Kathy Bush, 51:12; 3. Patricia Reilly, 56:10; 4. Eileen Bryson, 1:05:46.

10-kilometer women’s race

18 to 29 — 1. Gretta Porkornowksi, 52:57; 2. Jill Daavettila, 1:00:10; 3. Jodi Skoog, 1:00:10.

30 to 39 — 1. Jillian Fellman, 48:02; 2. Anna Widman, 49:29; 3. Jesse Huett, 52:23; 4. Paula Hansen, 54:15; 5. Melissa Hamilton, 59:00; 6. Courtney Abel, 1:02:51; 7. Sharon Oyao, 1:13:23; 8. Natasha Reutov, 1:17:01.

40 to 49 — 1. Karin Bryson, 52:01; 2. Carrie Henson, 1:00:17; 3. Meg Mueller, 1:04:21.

50 to 59 — 1. Rachel Erickson, 56:18: 2. Christato Johnson, 59:01; 3. Barbara Belluomini, 1:00:35.

60 to 69 — 1. Christine Morin, 1:04:46; 2. Maria Sweppy, 1:14:51; 3. Nancy Lafferty, 1:39:03.

Five-kilometer boys race

14 and under — 1. Daniel Anders, 23:36; 2. Malakai BeDunnah, 29:26; 3. Benjamin Abel, 32:35; 4. Emelian Reutov, 33:16; 5. Neil Reutov, 33:31; 6. Troy Dixon, 34:53; 7. Chase Dixon, 35:30; 8. Tungsten BeDunnah, 36:49.

15 to 17 — 1. Tucker Mueller, 20:23; 2. Tristan Summers, 23:04; 3. Jacob Nabholz, 25:50.

10-kilometer boys race

14 and under — 1. Samuel Anders, 51:18.

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