Participation strong, despite heat in Beardsley run
Though the unseasonably warm and humid temperatures may have kept participation from reaching record-high numbers, organizers of the 2013 Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, 5K Run and Relay Race were quite pleased with the turnout on Saturday.
“I think it was a great turnout,” said race director Kim Bettcher. “We had runners from California, Chicago, all over the region.”
Guest running legend Bill Rodgers himself even took part in the 5K run on Saturday, and he and Dick Beardsley “were both there cheering on the runners as they finished,” Bettcher said.
Rodgers, a four-time winner of both the Boston and New York marathons, who competed on the 1976 American team in the Montreal Olympics, was ranked the world’s No. 1 marathon runner in 1975, 1977 and 1978.
He took part in this year’s event as both a guest speaker and runner, in support of Beardsley, whom he described as “a longtime friend and fellow marathoner.”
“Bill Rodgers was fantastic,” Bettcher said of his Friday presentation in the Detroit Lakes City Park.
She also felt the decision to move this year’s guest runner presentation from the Holmes Theatre to the City Park was a wise one.
“It was a great venue for that,” she said, adding that plans for the 19th and 20th Beardsley events include expanding Friday’s activities at the park.
Bettcher also noted that while the number of finishers in both the half marathon and 5K run was down slightly, “our relay numbers were up.”
The number of participants in the Kids’ Run held later that morning was also up, Bettcher added.
“We had over 100 kids this year,” she said.
One area that did see a slight downturn due to the day’s heat was the number of walk-in registrations on the day of the race, Bettcher said.
“But some of those people decided to do the relay instead,” she added.
Overall, there were 517 finishers in the half marathon (300 men, 217 women), with first place in the men’s race going to 23-year-old Travis Fitke of Fargo with a time of 1:11:44, while 23-year-old Hannah Stordahl of Fargo took first place among the women with a 1:32:10 finish.
In the 5K Run, 34-year-old Detroit Lakes native Amy Fredrickson, now of Fargo, was victorious for the women, finishing with a time of 19:31. This was the second straight year that Fredrickson claimed victory in the 5K.
The men’s 5K winner was 38-year-old Kenny Miller of Wadena, who finished with a time of 16:01.
The top finishers in the relay race were the team of Mitch Evink and John Goll with a time of 1:23:50.
Bettcher also noted that more than 150 volunteers were involved in the staging of the 18th annual race, from taking registrations to setting up the race route to manning the 11 water stops along the way to providing live entertainment for both racers and spectators to handling the cleanup afterwards.
“We had more than 40 volunteers managing the registrations alone,” she said.
There were also more than a half-dozen musicians providing entertainment at various spots along the route, and about the same number of volunteers manning each of the water stops.
“Because of the heat, our water stop volunteers were really kept hopping this year,” Bettcher said.
And then, there were the spectators.
“We had lots of comments from the runners about the cheering all along the course,” Bettcher said. “They really appreciated the community’s support.”
Bettcher also thanked the community for supporting the event, from the spectators to the volunteers, city staff and local businesses.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” she said.
Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.