Run for Women a success

Anchorage's Cropper claims 10K crown while Kenai's Watkins wins 5K

Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007

 

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  Participant Nos. 219 and 218 hold hands before crossing the finish line of the 5-kilometer portion of the Run For Women on Saturday. Names were not available at press time. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Participant Nos. 219 and 218 hold hands before crossing the finish line of the 5-kilometer portion of the Run For Women on Saturday. Names were not available at press time.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Having already run a marathon in 16 different states, her goal being to complete the 26.2-mile excursion in the remaining 34, Anchorage resident Debbie Cropper is more than prepared for a 10-kilometer run.

Her extensive training, however, only works if she's able to stay on the correct course.

In last year's Kenai Peninsula Run For Women, sponsored by the Lee Shore Center, the elementary school teacher wasn't so lucky.

"I turned on Marathon Drive right before the light. I just went down to the end because I was in third and there was nobody ahead of me and I just thought it was the right way because I didn't hear her say I was going the wrong way," she explained. "I can't even tell you what that feeling was last year. I actually broke into tears because I was so pushing and I wanted to beat this one girl that we kind of have fun with.

"I passed her and she came up to me afterwards and said, 'What happened? I never saw you again.'"

 

Debbie Cropper, of Anchorage, runs in the 10-kilometer portion of the 20th Annual Run For Women. Cropper, an elementary school teacher, won the race with a time of 40:46.10.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

In the 20th installment of the race Saturday morning, most racers probably caught only a glimpse of Cropper, as she managed to stay on course in blowing away the rest of the 10K field with a time of 40:46.10, good enough for first place overall while competing in the 40-to-49-year old division. The next closest competitor was second-place finisher Satorene Jackson, who finished with a time of 46:07.20. Sara Rufner took third with a time of 50:02.30 and also won the 30-to-39-year old age group.

After running what she estimated as an extra mile last year, resulting in about a five-to-six minute setback, Cropper said she nearly went off course again Saturday before extending an extra thanks to the many people stationed along the roads.

"I really appreciate the volunteers," she said with a laugh, "being really supportive."

 

Molly Watkins (front, left) and Sarah Walton lead the pack during the 20th Annual Kenai Peninsula Run For Women in Kenai on Saturday morning. Watkins and Walton placed first and second overall, respectively, in the 5-kilometer portion of the race.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Running for 12 years and competitively for about eight, Cropper will continue her tour of the country with marathons in Pennsylvania and Maryland in October. Her dedication, which she said comes from the classroom, is directly responsible for her success.

"I use my running as in the classroom, just dedication," Cropper said. "I train hard, though. I train and I have to watch injuries. I run hard. I train, but I'm certainly not an elite runner. Everybody can run.

"I'm training a lot but it's my personality," the 46-year old added. "So, anything I do, teaching or whatever I do, I definitely try to do my best and push hard."

Cheri Smith, executive director of the Lee Shore Center, said the race raises money for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

"Any proceeds above the cost go to the services for victims," she said. "It's a fun event and we get a lot of participants. We've got people that have been coming for years.

"Every year people kind of mark this on their calendars because it's always the second Saturday in August."

Located on South Spruce Street in Kenai, the Lee Shore Center is a 32-bed shelter for women and children, but also consists of a 25-bed transitional housing facility on Gill Street.

"Women can go to stay. The emergency center is for women and children. We have walk-in services and we also deal with men victims as a walk-in basis or they can call our crisis line," Smith said, adding they field up to 2,000 crisis calls per year. "We see, typically, 300, 400 people on a walk-in basis a year. This last year that we just finished up, we had about 143 women and kids stay with us in that year for almost 6,000 bed nights."

Besides wanting to win, Cropper is a fan of the cause.

"I had a little bit of my own experience," she said. "Just seeing people out there cheering you. When I'm running, I'm thinking, 'Why am I doing this? It hurts.'

"But then everybody around you is why you run."

Kenai Central High School junior-to-be Molly Watkins was the overall winner of the 5-kilometer race, finishing in 18:28.10.

Sarah Walton took second with a time of 19:51 and Rebekah Summer claimed third with a time of 22:29.

While Watkins may not compete in marathons like Cropper, her recent training was also critical to her impressive finish.

Traditionally a swimmer in the fall, Watkins usually finds herself in the pool or roller-skiing in order to prepare for the upcoming season.

This year, though, she decided to make the switch to cross country, prompting her to alter her training regiment.

"It was really great and this is a great time for me," she said. "It's kind of helped, training for cross country instead of swimming before I run.

"I've been running instead of swimming or roller-skiing," Watkins added.

Competing in the race for the third time, Watkins said she finished first in her age group but didn't place overall in her initial attempt and finished third overall last year.

She wasn't about to let a little cold weather or heavy fog distract her from a solid finish.

"I woke up this morning and was like, 'Hmm, why today?' But it's kind of nice when you're running, but once you stop, it's going to get chilly here in a bit."

Besides, Smith said it usually seems to rain on the day of the race.

"One year it rained sideways," she said with a laugh.

So, a little fog really isn't that bad.

"This is perfect weather for runners," Smith said. "You can still see."

Matthew Carroll can be reached at matthew.carroll@peninsulaclarion.com.

20th Annual Run For Women

5-Kilometer

Under 14 Class Overall Time

Michelle Papp 1 11 25:12

Hattie Little-Burgener 2 42 35:41

Sarah Galloway 3 44 36:38

Abbi Wonser 4 59 40:53

Madison Day 5 75 56:53

Shannon Wyatt 6 79 1:02:27

15-19

Molly Watkins 1 1 18:28

Sarah Walton 2 2 19:51

Rebekah Summer 3 3 22:29

Becca Ford 4 6 23:23

Hilary Domke 5 8 23:52

Dani Rehm 6 18 26:30

Taylor Moore 7 23 28:01

Rebecca Gilman 8 35 32:45

Chelsea Dennis 9 38 33:14

Alexia Noel 10 41 35:21

20-29

Whitney Leman 1 5 23:19

Amber Wheat 2 10 24:37

Ashley Anderson 3 16 26:10

Amanda Matson 4 17 26:16

Nettie Keller 5 29 30:22

Mandy Howell 6 32 31:32

Angela Massey 7 39 34:27

Jackie Tomrdle 8 40 35:00

LaDonna Chatham 9 48 37:02

Curry Freeman 10 52 39:01

Becky Hansen 11 55 40:08

Stephanie Davis 12 57 40:51

Jennifer Harvey 13 58 40:51

30-39

Deb Russ 1 4 22:47

Brooke Ames 2 14 26:02

Jnifer Lncaster-Jack. 3 15 26:02

Regina Daniels 4 19 26:31

Kate Veh 5 21 27:16

Holly Kronz 6 22 27:34

Shonia Werner 7 45 36:39

Emma Demmert 8 47 36:58

Jaimee Coon 10 56 40:50

Rachel Cooper 11 64 41:58

Heather Floyd 12 70 50:34

Virginia Handley 13 71 50:34

Sherri Baktuit 14 74 53:19

Stacey Day 15 76 56:55

Elizabeta Dimitrovski 16 78 1:01:34

Shannon Wyatt 17 80 1:02:28

40-49

Mary Stompe 1 9 24:05

Lisa Turner 2 12 25:17

Helen Aye 3 13 25:48

Jennifer Powell 4 25 28:19

Lisa Atchley 5 26 28:19

Pamela Russell 6 28 29:06

Kelli Dennis 7 33 31:53

Margaret Gilman 8 36 32:46

Elizabeth Chatham 9 53 39:08

Carleen Harper 10 65 43:35

Anastasia Monyahan 11 73 50:55

50-59

Sue Seggerman 1 7 23:24

Pat Walton 2 24 28:18

Patti Berkhahn 3 27 28:47

Debbie Allen 4 30 30:59

Christy Walker 5 31 31:31

Anonymous runner 6 34 31:54

Kelley Smith 7 37 33:06

Mry Starrs Armstrng 8 43 36:35

Susan Smalley 9 46 36:41

Peggie Huff 10 50 38:59

Kimi Lofstedt 11 51 39:01

Diana Lofstedt 12 60 40:53

JoyAnn Morgan 13 62 41:20

Paula Standefer 14 68 47:09

Betsy Arbelovsky 15 69 47:43

Lauren Wakefield 16 77 1:00:16

Laura MacIndoe 17 81 1:02:54

Elite 60+

Eileen Bryson 1 20 27:15

Linda Story 2 54 40:02

Aleta Parker 3 61 40:55

Betty Dean 4 63 41:34

Debora Fullinck 5 66 45:15

Marilyn Johnson 6 67 47:09

Barbara Smith 7 72 50:39

10-Kilometer

15-19 Class Overall Time

Lindsay Henkelman 1 9 55:00

Kelli Murphy 2 11 57:30

20-29

Terri Saito 1 5 50:32

Stacie Meyer 2 6 50:42

Nancy Bishop 3 15 59:35

Nikki Skomp 4 18 1:00:36

Nadia Saxman 5 24 1:11:52

Melissa Vasilie 6 25 1:21:23

30-39

Sara Rufner 1 3 50:02

Angie Brennan 2 7 50:50

Shannon Lofton 3 8 51:24

Katie Bowers 4 10 56:30

Cheryl Brown 5 12 58:16

Tammie Bonel 6 30 1:40:40

40-49

Debbie Cropper 1 1 40:46

Satorene Jackson 2 2 46:07

Jenny Olendorff 3 4 50:27

Laura Henkelman 4 13 59:11

Melanie Papp 5 14 59:28

Wendy Bryden 6 16 59:48

Susan Pfaffe 7 19 1:02:33

Caroline Ritchie 8 20 1:02:46

Suzanne Little 9 23 1:10:07

Monica Frost 10 26 1:28:13

50-59

Joan Miller 1 17 59:55

Maria Sweppy 2 21 1:05:38

Connie Wheat 3 22 1:05:44

Colleen Carey 4 27 1:32:47

Cindy Vasilie 5 29 1:36:23

Wheel

Charlotte Johnston 1 28 1:36:23



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