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Race participants talk of their father's influences

Posted: June 19, 2012 - 12:00am
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Geoff Roes and Corle LaForce finish Saturday's Juneau Family Health and Birth Center run.
Geoff Roes and Corle LaForce finish Saturday's Juneau Family Health and Birth Center run.

After winning Saturday’s Juneau Family Health and Birth Center five-K run, various runners contemplated just how their father’s had a role in their passion for running and, or, sports in general.

“My dad is the reason I run,” top race finisher Cathleen Balantic said. “I started running to impress him.”

Growing up in Niantic, Connecticut, Balantic’s home featured a picture of her father Frank finishing the 1996 Boston Marathon and it always struck a chord in her running heart.

We always had a picture on top of our mantel of him finishing that Boston Marathon, all spent and drenched with sweat. I would always look back on that picture and think, ‘man I want to be like him. He is definitely my biggest inspiration for running.”

As the rain seemed to increase with each finishing participant, it was obvious that these athletes have found meaning in their exercise.

Rosie Milligan grew up on the windy island city of Kodiak where her father still lives.

“At that time there wasn’t a huge running scene but my dad ran and we lived out the road,” Milligan said. “He was always teased because he loved spandex so much. He was the only guy running around town in spandex and I was so embarrassed. I just never got into it until recently. And now I call him up all the time and let him know what I have run and he is always psyched. I think he kind of turned me on to it.”

2008 JDHS graduate Isabel Bush said her father Jeff is into golf and he still tries to get her out on the links.

“I enjoy it but I am terrible at it,” Bush said. “I can’t keep up with him at all. In terms of running, he was never a runner but he was always my biggest fan, all the time. In high school he would always know all the stats of everyone in the state and would always be telling me ‘You can take the lead with this run.’ He was just always out there, rain or shine, cheering me on.”

Leslie Sowell who grew up in Bremerton, Wash. remembers her father Lester Cole debating Seahawks football.

“Listening to my dad rant about the draft and preparing for football season was big in our family,” Sowell said. “Now I am a diehard Seahawks fan.”

Geoff Roes, the races top entrant and most accomplished runner, chose to run like he does quite often on the trails and mountains of Juneau; as an encouraging participant in an activity that can change lives.

Roes drifted among the race leaders and back to his partner Corle LaForce entered in the race and, as one finisher said, “some guy was out there running circles around us and encouraging us to go on, it was great.”

Roes was raised in upstate New York and from age 5-18 played baseball about six months out of the year. He credits his father Donald with his sports passion.

“Mostly baseball,” Geoff Roes said. “My whole family was into baseball. My dad was the president of the little league and having him as a coach all through childhood was huge. That is one of the biggest memories I have of growing up. I am sure we had many father’s days that involved playing baseball or basketball or just dong something active out side.”

Following are the race results provided to the Juneau Empire.

5 miles Race (name, time, place, age, sex)

Cathleen Balantic 37:16 1 25 F

Rosie Milligan 41:26 2 26 F

Isabel Bush 43:45 3 22 F

Cora Cambell 51:48 4 32 F

Leslie Sowell 52:26 5 29 F

Sheena Gauthier 54:45 6 27 F

Rob Haight 54:45 7 44 M

Darla Orbistondo 55:05 8 48 F

Corle LaForce 57:12 9 29 F

Geoff Roes 57:12 10 36 M

Faith Reynolds 57:20 11 27 F

Myron Davis 57:20 12 34 M

Ernest Carrillo 60:12 13 54 M

Michael Pitaro 61:34 14 30 M

Rey Mueca 75:00 15 26 M

Very Lumbao 75:00 16 24 F

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