Records fall during 13th Beardsley Run
By BRIAN WIERIMA
Competitors clad in a bevy of colors billowed over Washington Avenue in front of the Detroit Lakes Pavilion Saturday, as the starting gun blasted off to signify the start of the 13th Annual Dick Beardsley Half-Marathon and 5K runs.
It was a start like no other in the history of the race, as a record-number 1,803 runners were on hand to run either the half-marathon around Detroit Lake or the 5K race, along with the newly added six-mile relay competition.
Under nearly perfect conditions, runners were able to enjoy the final breaths of summer in what is quickly becoming one of the largest running events in the area.
"The popularity of running is increasing and it's a beautiful race course," said one of the many Beardsley organizers, Brent Wolf, who is the Program Director at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.
Other enhancements over the course of the years, which has made the race even more popular, is the use of chip timing on a certified course.
"Everyone also received a great high-performance running shirt, some great medals for finishing and we also had ample water stops throughout the course," Wolf included.
The races attract a bevy of out of town runners, with about 15 percent of the field hailing from DL.
With the favorable conditions, the half-marathon record went down at the running feet of Eric Loeffler, who eclipsed the course mark of 1:11.02, set in 2002, with his time of 1:09.36.
Winning the 5K race was Ken Hammer with a time of 16:28, two seconds ahead of second-placer Scott Egeberg.
Meg Grindall won the women's 5K division with a 18:32 mark, while Mary Coordt won the women's half-marathon with a time of 1:23.33.
The half-marathon had 917 runners, with 832 finishing, while the 5K attracted 514 with 487 making the finish line.
The new relay event had 166 competitors, with 152 finishers, and the kids' 1K race had 206 runners.