Waweru repeats in 10K
WORTHINGTON --Outrunning 620 other runners Saturday morning, Moses Waweru successfully defended his title by winning the 27th Annual Turkey Day 10K road race.
On a beautiful day that featured sunshine, warm temperatures and a slight Lake Okabena breeze, the race was another successful event as Worthington celebrated King Turkey Day.
"We had another good race this year," event coordinator Jerry Fiola said. "We were pleased with the weather, and everything went well."
Beginning at the 7th Avenue corner, the runners strolled down 10th Street, where spectators lined both sides and offered encouragement, before looping around Lake Okabena.
The 6.2-mile race ended with the runners coming back onto 10th Street and finishing at the 3rd Avenue intersection. Again, fans showed their appreciation for the runners with loud applause.
Waweru -- who won last year's race with a time of 30:22 -- ran nearly an identical time (30:30) this year to become the fourth man to repeat as champion of the prestigious event.
"I knew this was going to be a tough race," he said afterwards. "I felt strong today, but I'm pretty tired now. It feels good to win this great race for the second year in a row."
Chris Lundstrom -- who won back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002 -- placed second this year, finishing with a time of 30:47.
Waweru (St. Paul) and Lundstrom (Minneapolis) were joined by Michael Reneau (Houlton, Wis.), Josh Metcalf (Glencoe) and Ben Klungtvedt (Moorhead) in the lead pack at the mile-marker, where they clipped by at just under five minutes into the race.
"The competition was very tough," said Klungtvedt, who finished fifth with a time of 32:31. "The top four gradually started pulling away from me as we circled the lake."
Reneau (31:19) and Metcalf (31:39) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Amy Lyons from Mounds View won the women's title. Finishing 12th overall, Lyons broke the women's course record with a time of 34:57. The previous record (35:01) was set in 1996 by Bonnie Sons.
Desiree Budd, last year's women's champion, was second this year (24th overall) with a time of 36:46.
Budd (Mankato) was one of four former champions competing this year, as Marie Sample (2000, 2003, 2004), Sharon Stubler (1990, 1997) and Vicki Coyle (1985, 1986, 1987) helped make this year's race, "one of our more competitive fields," according to Fiola.
Worthington's top men's and women's finishers were Keith Abels (16th, 35:46) and Nancy Koskamp (156th, 47:16), respectively.
There were five runners that were competing in their 27th Turkey Day 10K. Wayne Drealan (Fulda), Steve Vlieger (Mitchell, S.D.), Midg White (Worthington), Don Rammler (Cottage Grove) and Dave Bushard (Lake Shetek) have not missed the race since its inception in 1980.