WAKEFIELD – The 36th annual Sunday Lake Run/Walk was held on Thursday with 261 runners and walkers participating under nearly perfect weather conditions on the scenic 2.8 mile course.
For the runners, they simply run around the lake and Allan Peterson and Carolyn Andresen did it best. They were the top male and female runners overall.
Both grew up in Ironwood and were key performers on the Red Devil cross country and track and field teams in high school. Peterson now runs cross country and track & field for Grand Valley State University and has set the record in the 3,000 meter run and won the 5K race this year in the GLIAC conference meet.
But on Thursday, it was a different kind of race for Peterson.
“I came out to have fun and I ran a good race in 13:16,” Peterson said. “I’m building for the cross country season, but I’m not even close to being in the shape I want to be in.”
But don’t tell that to Dave Hebert. The Iron River, Mich. native and member of the UW-Stevens Point track team said he ran with Peterson for a while, but then Peterson took off and he had no chance of catching him.
Andresen, now living in Eau Claire, Wis., said she has been training to run in the Pike’s Peak Ascent race, which is basically running 13.3 miles up a mountain in Colorado.
“I’ve been mainly running hills and doing a lot of half-marathons,” Andresen said. “I haven’t done a lot of short races, but I thought I might as well run it. I was shooting for a sub 20 (minute) race and I did it in 17:41.”
Andresen had another special reason to return to the area.
“I came back for a marriage license,” she said.
Her fiancee, Andy Warren, finished first in the men’s age 25 to 29 group.
The run/walk included 17 age divisions for both males and females and included young children all the way up to Carl Kinnunen, of Ironwood, who is 87 years young. He topped the men’s 75 and over division in 42:05.
“I’ve walked the lake quite often,” Kinnunen said. “It was great, no problem and the weather was real good. I had a health screening two weeks ago and there were no problems, so I must be doing something right. I also walk to Mt. Zion from my house.”
Dean Juntunen, of Mass City was tops in the handcycle division with a time of 11:11. With an 8 a.m. starting time, Juntunen was back in time for breakfast.
“I love this little race,” Juntunen said. “It was a very nice day. Nice people, nice event. You can’t go wrong. See you at the Paavo.”
Krista Grannath was the high finisher in the stroller division in a time of 20:41.
Race director Diane Oliver was pleased with the events of the day.
“It was a beautiful day and a lot of people showed up,” Oliver said. “The race was amazing and we’re looking forward to next year.”