It was a perfect day for a run last Saturday morning, and that’s just what over 200 participants came out to do as part of the Albertville Friendly City Days celebrations.
The St. Michael-Albertville Coaches Association has hosted the 5K race and kids’ Fun Run each year since 1999 in Albertville and 1996 in St. Michael. Coaches volunteer their time, and all proceeds from the event go to fund scholarships for the school district’s three-sport athletes. To date, the association has raised more than $28,000 for these scholarships just from these races alone. Event coordinator, Steve Rothweiler, said he anticipates that figure to be well above $30,000 by the time he shoots the starting gun for next year’s race.
This year’s first place finisher, Nick Nygaard, sped across the finish line in 15 minutes, 58 seconds-a 5.15 minute-mile He was followed closely by Joseph Mahoney of Monticello. The first female finisher, Bridget Hines, crossed the line soon after, clocking her time in at 17 minutes, 37 seconds.
The rate of finishers really began picking up around 25 minutes into the race, and it wrapped up in minute 41, when all runners had crossed the line and enjoyed some fresh fruit as a finish line treat. From there the event moved directly into the kids’ fun run. Eager runners between the ages of 3 and 10 lined their little toes up on the line in three different age categories for their runs. The six and under set ran a 400 meter race, which is one lap around the track. Seven and eight year olds ran 600 meters and nine and 10 year olds ran two full laps for an 800-meter race.
The top finisher in each fun run race was as follows:
6 and under girls: Gabby Voigt
6 and under boys: Eli Haakenson
7/8 girls: Clare Haakenson
7/8 boys: Dalton Cate
9/10 girls: Blair Boutet
9/10 boys: Andrew Bowman
In addition to the kids’ fun run, there were some kids out there running the full 3.1 miles as well. The youngest-looking 5K runner that Patch spotted at the finish line was 8-year-old Isaiah Mlsna, who ran the race with his older sister’s friend, Katie Schmitz.
“He made me run really fast!” Schmitz complained, but with a smile.
Though the race is not a certified track, Rothweiler assured Patch that the course is perfectly accurate, having been designed by head boys' and girls' cross country coach and high school math instructor Gregg Greeno.
“You cannot get finer in the state than Mr. Gregg Greeno,” Rothweiler said with a laugh.
The Albertville race starts and finishes at STMA’s Middle School West, where Rothweiler said they can utilize the newly refinished running track and feature their outdoor sporting facilities. The St. Michael race, which will be held on Aug. 13 this year, will start and end at the new high school.
After all of the day’s racing wrapped up, participants headed into the stands for the prizes and awards ceremony. Four $25 gift cards were donated from Cabela’s, and winners were chosen at random by pulling bib numbers out of a hat. Note to next year’s racers: winners must be present to receive their prize, and several potential winners missed out as a result. Trophies were then awarded to the top three finishers in each age and gender category.
Full results of the 5K race are available at Raceberry Jam.