TF 5K-10K sets record
By John George
It was a perfect day for the annual Turtle Fest 5K and 10K run/Walk last Saturday. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing, and a record number of participants showed up.
"It was a pretty good day all around," said race organizer Jim Lee. Jim and wife Lucy run the whole show, from off-season organizing, to race day registration and even cooking up treats for racers at the finish line. "It's really great to see how it's grown and become more and more competitive," Lee said. "Boy, some of the kids can run."
A record 267 participants ran the race on a slightly altered course. The start of the race was moved up on the golf course road closer to Cty. Rd. 8 in Perham.
That allowed the finish to be moved farther up the bike path from previous races into Paul Miller Park. At the finish, racers were commenting on the two hills that they had to endure due to the new finish. Overall, general comments were positive about the race.
Leading the way in the 5K run were local products, Jake Januszewski and Gabrielle Anderson. Januszewski, 25, was the overall champion with a time of 15:56.79. The next area runner to finish was Perham's Philip Nelson, who was fifth overall with a time of 17:52.02.
Anderson, 22, had a female first place time of 18:42.11.
Two new records were set in the 10K run. Justin Grunewald, 23, of Merrifield broke a previous record set by Januszewski, with a time of 32:44.09.
Jeff Pulford, 20, of Richville was the highest area finisher. He was fifth with a time of 42:04.27.
In the female race, Brittany Brenny of Staples defended her title with a time of 38:32.17, breaking a record she set last year.
The highest area finisher was Heidi Dresser, 32, of Perham, who finished sixth with a time of 48:27.71. Dresser is the coach for the New York Mills track and field team.