WORTHINGTON — Adam Koller had little to complain about Saturday morning.
Koller, a Worthington High School senior and a standout on the Trojans’ cross country team, finished in a sprint to win the 40th annual King Turkey Day 10K race in a time of 34:43.90. For Koller, his performance marked a significant improvement over last year’s showing in the same event.
“It was a little under a minute faster,” Koller said of Saturday’s time. “Of course I want to win, and of course I want to improve my time, but sometimes where you place is something you can’t control. … I’m very happy with the time and the win.”
Koller surmised that he has competed in the KTD 10K for at least four years, and possibly five. Saturday morning’s temperatures were in the low 60s and accompanied by a noticeable, yet manageable, wind. In 2018, temps were already in the mid-80s when the 10K began.
“I was a little concerned about wind early, but it wasn’t too bad,” Koller said. “ I really can’t complain about the weather at all.”
Koller ran with some of this WHS cross country teammates for the first mile or so before he began to separate himself. Approximately 15 Trojan runners participated in the 10K. In fact, two other WHS boys — Christian Lietz (35:46.13) and Jordan Melendez (36:52.44) finished in second and third, respectively.
“Coach (Cory Schmit) has a sign-up sheet and then registered all of us,” Koller said. “It was great, and we thank him for that.”
Koller is also thankful for what should be a good future as a cross country runner.
“For sure I plan on running in college,” he said. “I don’t exactly know where yet, but I’ll be running for sure.”
Amy Feit of Luverne is usually a “for sure” participant in the KTD 10K. She has been taking part in the event for about the last 10 years, and she crossed the finish line first Saturday among women.
Feit, who is married to Kyle Feit — the son of Tom and Karen Feit of Reading — said she’s in the midst of preparing for what will be her 16th career marathon.
“Today I just ran as part of my training for a marathon I’ll be running this fall,” Feit said. “Actually, my marathon pace is usually a little bit faster than this.”
Still, Feit — who said she runs 80 miles or more each week — wasn’t disappointed at all about being in Worthington for the KTD 10K.
“I ran this a few times with my daughter, who ran it for the first time when she was 9,” she explained. “This 10K, if you’re from around here and you’re a runner, you’ve just got to do it. It’s a great race.”
Feit finished with a time of 40:34.75, good enough for seventh place overall. Kaitlin Gerber of Owatonna was second among women and 14th overall (42:59.58), and Jennifer Recker of Adrian was third and 16th (44:15.80).
Also on Saturday morning, a first-ever KTD 5K race took place at the same time as the KTD 10K. Those runners also mixed in with individuals who participated in a 5K walking event.
Mathias Noble, an eighth-grader at Worthington Middle School, crossed the finish line first in the 5K race in a time of 19:22.37.. Noble is typically a top-10 placer in junior high cross country races, and is already expecting to stretch out and run in the KTD 10K next September.
“It wasn’t too bad on the road,” Noble said of Saturday’s race. “In cross country, I’m used to hills and stuff.”
Finishing behind Noble in second place with a clocking of 20:52.11 was Uwe Kamm, part of the Crailsheim, Germany delegation visiting Worthington for King Turkey Day. Kamm said it was the first time he’d taken part in a running race outside of Germany.
Kamm was making his second trip to Worthington.
“I had a wonderful time here three years ago and wanted to come back,” noted Kamm, adding that he was proud to run his first American race in one of Crailsheim’s sister cities.
One of the other 5K participants was Mark Mulder, 71, a member of the Worthington High School class of 1966. He was tops in his age group with a time of 25:33.30.
“I usually come to visit family once a year and decided to come this year for Turkey Day,” said Mulder, also a regular runner. “I’m usually right around first place out of the old duffers.”
Jenna Bents of Worthington was the top female finisher in the 5K with a time of 22:13.70, which was good enough for fifth overall. Anne Doubler of Worthington was second (and 13th overall), crossing the line in 24:36.59.