Kandie, Klaverkamp win 2011 Turkey Day 10K titlesWORTHINGTON — On a cool, overcast, windy morning, a total of 569 runners completed the 32nd annual Turkey Day 10K Saturday, starting and finishing on 10th Street with a loop all the way around Lake Okabena in between.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — On a cool, overcast, windy morning, a total of 569 runners completed the 32nd annual Turkey Day 10K Saturday, starting and finishing on 10th Street with a loop all the way around Lake Okabena in between.
Opening up a sizable lead in the first 2,000 meters, 26-year-old Richard Kandie of Coon Rapids claimed the overall title, covering the 6.2 mile distance in 30 minutes and 37 seconds.
“It was windy and cold running,” exclaimed Kandie, who tied for first-place last year and has clocked a 3:53 mile in his career and has run a 10K in the low 28’s. “I was able to get the lead early and hold on all the way around.”
While Kandie won convincingly — by 23 seconds over strong-closing Michael Krsnak (21, Brookings, S.D) — the chase for the women’s championship was more competitive.
But in the end, it was 32-year-old Jill Klaverkamp from Sioux Falls, S.D. who crossed the finish line first, running a stellar time of 36:33 and finishing a very impressive ninth overall.
“This means a lot to me,” beamed a thrilled Klaverkamp after receiving congratulations from Jen Van Otterloo (25, Sioux Center, Iowa) and Marie Sample (35, Marshall) who were also very much “in the hunt” for the women’s title.
“This was a competitive race and I’m still in a bit of shock that I actually won it,” an exhausted Klaverkamp exclaimed. “I was hurting bad over the last mile, but was able to keep pushing and this feels so good now.
“I’ve run this race for many years, but it’s the first time I have ever won here. I still can’t believe it, this is the biggest thing that’s ever happened for me.”
“It just shows what can happen when you train hard and smart,” Sample, a three-time Turkey Day 10K women’s first-place finisher (2004, 2007, 2008) told Klaverkamp while congratulating her after Saturday’s victory. “I am happy for her, she has worked hard and continues to get better.”
“They are so good to me,” declared Klaverkamp about how both Van Otterloo and Sample shared in her post-race exuberance. “It was a competitive race between the three of us.”
Klaverkamp’s improvement Saturday was significant. Two years ago, she finished 16th overall and fourth among all women with a time of 38:42. Last year, Klaverkamp improved her time by 25 seconds, running the course in 38:17, but was the fifth female to cross the finish line, while finishing 20th overall.
She knocked nearly two minutes off her 2010 time (104 seconds), as she turned in the second-highest overall finish ever recorded by the women’s winner. Amy Lyons of Mounds View won the women’s title last year with a time of 36:32 and was eighth overall.
Van Otterloo was a close second among all women Saturday, entering the chute next (10th overall) with a fine time of 36:44.
Sample was just a few places back, finishing 13th overall with a time of 37:01, as the third female to complete the grueling race.
Jennifer Vande Vegte, 34, Sioux Center was the fourth woman to finish (21st overall), while Mary Thum, 28, Sioux Falls (23rd overall) was fifth, clocking respective times of 39:18 and 39:32.
Krsnak finishes solid second; Beckerman is top Worthington finisher
While Kandie pulled away early and maintained his lead, Krsnak, a red-shirt senior cross country runner at South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, ran strong over the final 8,000 meters and claimed a solid second-place finish with a time of 31 minutes flat.
At the 2,000-meter mark, Krsnak was running stride-for-stride with David Tuwei (32, Coon Rapids), who finished third with a time of 31:33.
“I ran pretty well, getting second,” said Krsnak, a 2008 graduate of Rapid City (S.D.) Central High School who has run a 29:40 10K and has been knocking on the door of running a sub-4:00 mile. “But, I would have really had to work harder to catch (Kandie). I’m happy with how I finished this race out.”
Obed Gisemba (31, Windom) was fourth overall (32:51) and 27-year-old Dan Ristau (Blue Earth) finished fifth (33:58).
Keith Abels (49, Ogden, Iowa), formerly of Worthington continued his string of impressive Turkey Day 10K’s as he finished 14th overall (37:38) and easily won the men’s 45-49 age group by just over two minutes.
Jonah Beckerman, 32, was Worthington’s first runner to cross the finish line, clocked at 37:47, while finishing 15th overall.
Ryan DeYounge, 30, was the second Worthington finisher, placing 20th overall with a time of 39:07.
The first Worthington female to finish Saturday’s race was Trojan senior volleyball player Megan Juber, who ran the entire distance with her father Bruce (52) and clocked an outstanding time of 43:13, while placing ninth among all women and 56th overall.
“She gave me all I wanted,” Bruce said about his daughter’s ability to keep the pace with him throughout the run.
Worthington’s second female finisher was 25-year-old Amanda DeYounge (93rd overall, 13th among all women) with a fine time of 46:07.
Fissiha, Jirele both finish in top 30
The next two Worthington male finishers were a pair of young Trojan cross country runners, who finished 1-2 in the 14-and-under age division.
Amanuel Fissiha, 13, was 27th (40:01) and Matthew Jirele, 14, finished 30th with a time of 40:14, as both runners doubled their high school racing distance Saturday.
Jirele has run several Turkey Day 10K’s, improving each year.
“I think, he ran it in about 62 minutes his first time (2006),” recalled his father, Bob, who used to run with his son each year. “I can’t keep up with him anymore.”
Bob Jirele, 45, was 11th in his age group (68th overall) with a time of 43:48.
The fifth Worthington runner to cross the finish line Saturday was 15-year-old Anthony Luft, who ran the distance in 41:13, finishing 37th overall and third in the male 15-19 age category.
Felipe Gonzales, 34, and Dave Serrano, 41, also ran among the top 50 runners Saturday, finishing 40th and 41st, respectively, with times of 41:31 and 41:33.
Fulda’s Wayne Drealan, 58, who has run in every one of the 32 Turkey Day 10Ks, also made the top 50, covering the distance in 41:47 (44th overall), while winning the male 55-59 age division by 38 seconds.
Former Adrian High School cross country star Morgan Lynn (20, Lismore) crossed the line after Drealan, clocking a 45th-place time of 41:59 and winning the female 20-24 age division, while finishing sixth overall among all women.
Completing the top 50 was former Worthington athlete Chris Aggen, who is now student teaching (physical education and health) in Pipestone. Aggen, 23, ran the course in 42:35.
Patton, Nielsen smash age group records
Gary Patton, 65, of Rock Rapids, Iowa, has been a regular Turkey Day 10K runner and — according to several other Turkey Day regulars — is one of the best 65-and-over runners in the upper Midwest.
Patton proved that Saturday, as he smashed the existing men’s 65-69 age group record by well over two minutes.
Patton placed an impressive 29th overall, clocked at 40:11 — which broke the 2008 mark of 42:49, which was run by Lake Elmo’s Norm Purrington (a Windom native), who had been one of the state’s elite master’s runners for several years.
Marge Nielsen, 76, of Spencer, Iowa also established a new age group record Saturday, covering the distance in 1:03:24 (461st overall finish) and bettering the former 75-and-above women’s age group record of 1:18:22 (Lois DeGonda, 2009) by nearly 15 minutes.
There were a total of 309 men and 260 women who finished Saturday’s event.
For complete results, see www.turkeyday10k.com.