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Archive for Monday, April 19, 2004

Wind ‘terrible’ for Raintree Run

April 19, 2004

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During Sunday morning's Raintree Run on the South Lawrence Trafficway bike-hike path, the wind was:

a) insidious.

b) relentless.

c) discomforting.

d) all of the above.

The answer is an emphatic d) and any other adjective that describes having to run in a half-marathon or a 5K with the wind blowing 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.

"The wind was terrible," said ageless road runner Paul Heitzman. "It adds about 3 percent to your time."

Nevertheless, Heitzman, a 73-year-old from Eudora, won the men's 65 & over age-graded 5K with ease. Heitzman was seven minutes faster than 69-year-old Fred Van Vleck of Lawrence.

Another veteran runner who noticed the wind was Brian Daldorph, a 46-year-old Kansas University English professor, who finished second in his age group in the half-marathon with a clocking of 1:26:51.

"The last two miles I know I slowed down because of the wind," Daldorph said.

Shadrack Kimeli, a former Kansas State runner, won the half-marathon with a clocking of 1:11:20. Dave Halfterty of Topeka was runner-up in 1:13:01. Kimeli and Halfterty had finished 2-3 behind Phil Hudnall in last year's Raintree Run, but Hudnall since has moved to Colorado and didn't compete Sunday.

While the wind played hob with the estimated 1,300 participants, gremlins slowed compilation of the results.

"We were in a crisis stage," meet director Steve Riley said. "Both computers we were using locked up. I had two backups, and one of those quit. We were down to one computer, then we finally got the others running again and saved the day."

When the day began, Riley admitted he didn't think anyone had a chance to break the course record because of the wind, but Eric Graham fooled him. Graham, a 25-year-old from Olathe, broke the meet mark in the 5K in 15:28. Tom Kreissler of Lawrence was second in 17:06.

Lawrence runners swept the top three places in the women's 5K. Nicole Latimer won in 18:57, followed by Mallory Richardson (20:32) and Jeanie Reams (21:36).

In the half-marathon, the first woman to finish was Michelle Hein of Topeka in 1:27:31. Jennifer Furze of Omaha, Neb., was second (1:31:46), and Leslie Curley of Topeka was third (1:33:05).

The run was a fund-raiser for Raintree Montessori School.

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