Difficult weather conditions doesn't hamper enthusiasm at Alton Half-Marathon
ALTON - A large group of runners turned out for the annual Alton Half Marathon and 5K (3.1-mile) run along the Alton riverfront on Saturday despite conditions that weren't the most ideal for a run.
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A heavy overnight rain, strong winds and temperatures in the low 40s that produced wind chills near 30 made for tough conditions for Saturday's eighth edition of the Alton Half-Marathon and 5K (3.1-mile) run along the Alton riverfront area, but still produced a good turnout and a record-setting half-marathon (13.1 miles) time in the women's competition.
Zach Boyle of St. Louis won the men's half-marathon competition in a time of 1:18:05, while Julia Kohnen of Florissant, Mo., set a record in the women's race by covering the course in 1:20:20, topping the mark set last year by Carrie Macke of 1:22:57.
“We're very happy with who turned out and so forth with the way the conditions we're in today,” said Half-Marathon co-director Barb Horstmann. “There's nothing you can do about the weather; we've had worse years, put it that way.”
More than 400 runners signed up for the half-marathon, Horstmann said. “We're thinking at least 300 showed up” for the event, Horstmann said. “We're happy with that. Last year was our highest year for a turnout, but we had different weather conditions going for us; we're still satisfied.
“You don't get the last-minute signups when weather like this is predicted.”
The race is well-supported by the St. Louis area's running community. “We get a lot of support,” Horstmann said. “We have runners come from across the country and around the region; we have many repeat runners who come back year after year. They just love the course and love everything about it; it's a very nice course, it's a very flat course for them.”
“It's windy and cold,” Boyle said. “It's not ideal, but it's still fun to come out an race; it helped a lot to have some of the Big River (running company of St. Louis) guys that I train with – Ben (Hudson of St. Louis), who took second, we probably ran 10-11 miles of it together, so that helped break up the windy bits.
“We slowed down quite a bit in the wind and had to stop from being blown over, especially coming up the (Clark) bridge on the return (to the start-finish line). I knew going in it would be more about putting in a good effort and not worrying about the times, so I didn't pay too much attention to the clock as much as trying to run hard.”
“It was a challenge, but it was fun,” Kohnen said. “Half of (the course) was straight in to the wind – probably the hardest race I've ever run – but once you turned and had the wind at your back, it was great; it was the slowest time I've ever had in a half-marathon ever, but I'm training for the (April 16 Boston Marathon); this is just a tuneup race, running a good workout and it was challenging – that's what you need for training.”
Kohnen didn't start running until she was in college at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville after graduating from Incarnate Word in St. Louis. “Three years ago, I got into running,” Kohnen said. “I've done quite a few halfs and I did the Chicago Marathon last fall, which qualified me for (U.S.) Olympic Trials in the marathon (for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020), so now I'm doing Boston in April, but I've not had as many years of running as a lot of people.”
Jason Holroyd of St. Louis was the men's overall winner in the 5K race, covering the 3.1 miles in 16:53, while Erika Holroyd, also of St. Louis, took the overall women's 5K title win 19:45.
Race sponsors included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery, Scott Credit Union, Duke Bakery of Alton, BJC Alton Memorial Hospital, Mac's Restaurant in downtown Alton and College Avenue Family Dentistry in Alton.
2018 ALTON HALF-MARATHON AND 5K RUN
HALF-MARATHON (TOP 15 OVERALL)
Zach Boyle, St. Louis (1:18:05); Benjamin Hudson, St. Louis (1:18.26); Julia Kohnen, St. Louis (1:20:20; new women's course record); Jon Yoch, Glen Carbon (1:22:14); Jessica Moskalewski, Ravenna, Mich. (1:23:52); Michael Southworth, St. Louis (1:24:14); Tom Gelsthorpe, Urbana (1:24:59); Crystal Harriss, Edwardsville (1:25:33); Rick Roberts, Alton (1:27:42); Julia Reitz, St. Charles, Mo. (1:30:48); Lloyd Weber, St. Louis (1:36:34); Scott Stotlemeyer, Jefferson City, Mo. (1:36:42); Zachary Meszaros, Wood River (1:36:56); Christopher Aldridge, Alton (1:37:22); Jim Loepker, Wood River (1:37:24)
MEN'S RESULTS (TOP 10)
Boyle; Hudson; Yoch; Southworth; Gelsthorpe; Roberts; Weber; Meszaros; Aldridge; Loepker
WOMEN'S RESULTS (TOP 10)
Kohnen; Moskalewski; Harriss; Reitz; Stephanie True, St. Louis (1:44:51); Michelle Dillon, St. Louis (1:47:38); Kristin Clark, Ballwin, Mo. (1:48:05); Dawn Forbes, St. Charles, Mo. (1:51:27); Kristina Morris, St. Louis (1:51:51); Rachel Shultz, Brighton (1:51:59)
MEN'S AGE GROUP WINNERS
1-14, Caleb Scofield, Eureka (2:24:53); 20-24, Roberts; 25-29, Meszaros; 30-34, Southworth; 35-39, Gelsthorpe; 40-44, Jeff Bruggeman, Columbia (1:41:13); 45-49, Weber; 50-54, Blake Scranton, Springfield (1:38:40); 55-59, Chris Fennewald, Jefferson City, Mo. (1:44:46); 60-64, William Brummond, Chesterfield (1:49:54); 65-69, Randy Steinbrugge, St. Charles, Mo. (2:17:40)
WOMEN'S AGE GROUP WINNERS
15-19, Kassidy Funke, Godfrey (2:23:47); 20-24, Connie Young, Elsah (1:57:32); 25-29, Anna Kallai, Godfrey (1:52.07); 30-34, Rebecca Liggett, no hometown listed (1:57:19); 35-39, Reitz; 40-44, Clark; 45-49, Forbes; 50-54, True: 55-59, Shultz; 60-64, Barb Dumke, St. Louis (2:22:02)
5K (3.1-MILE) RUN (TOP 15 OVERALL)
Jason Holroyd, St. Louis (16:53); Joshua Moskalewski, Ravenna, Mich. (18:23); Anthony Hilkin, St. Louis (18:25); Erika Holroyd, St. Louis (19:45); Leslie Grohmann, Red Bud (22:56); Clayton Janecke, Alton (22:58); Jeff Miller, no hometown listed (23:41); Joe Splitorff, Alton (24:10); Megan Clark, Greenfield (24:13); River Wrischnik, Godfrey (25:05); Josh Underhill, Alton (25:06); Eric Shultz, Brighton (26:45); Tim Chapman, Glen Carbon (26:51); Emily Fitch, Vandalia (27:05); John Macauley, Maryville (27:08)
MEN'S RESULTS (TOP 10)
Holroyd; Mosalewski; Hilkin; Janecke; Miller; Splitorff; Wrischnik; Underhill; Shultz; Chapman
WOMAN'S RESULTS (TOP 10)
Holroyd; Grohmann; Clark; Fitch; Alexandria Hearn, Edwardsville (28:19); Julie Williams, no hometown listed (28:31); Rosalie Saffell, Shipman (29:27); Robyn Wiens, St. Louis (30:00); Elizabeth Walker, Seattle (30:02); Sarah Davis, Whiteside, Mo. (30:30)
MEN'S AGE-GROUP WINNERS
0-19, Wrischnik; 20-29, Moskalewski; 30-39, Splitorff; 40-49, Holroyd; 50-59, Shultz; 60-over, William Ames, Godfrey (29:30)
WOMEN'S AGE-GROUP WINNERS
20-29, Fitch; 30-39, Clark; 40-49, Holroyd; 50-59, Janet Van Beek, Edwardsville (39:50); 60-over, Saffell
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