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Over the mudflats, through the woods

May Day Mud Run makes some entrants question their sanity

Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2003

Why did nearly 100 runners cross the Gastineau Channel?

Because it was low tide on Saturday morning and they could.

Eighteen long-course runners and 74 short-course runners braved a frigid fording of the Gastineau Channel - twice, once each way - during the annual May Day Mud (and Mountain) Run. The long-course runners covered a 7-mile course that included a run up Fish Creek Trail before they crossed the Channel to a trail near the airport, then returned to North Douglas to the Fish Creek parking lot start-finish line. The short-course runners completed a 3-mile course that was an out-and-back run along the Mendenhall Wetlands.

Four runners wore old prom dresses, others celebrated birthdays, one runner had the last name of Tide (low or high?) and a group of nine teenagers and counselors from Johnson Youth Center called themselves "Team Demented," which was the attitude of the day.

"Intelligence was not a factor. Stupidity wins again," Shawn Miller said after winning the short-course race in 36 minutes, 4 seconds.

Stupidity, maybe. Fun, yes.

Two runners celebrating birthdays said they questioned their sanity at times during the race, but the overall experience was a blast.

"We were up to our waist going over because we crossed at that first creek," said Alberta Jones, who celebrated her 41st birthday Saturday. "My girlfriend (Amy Martin), who I'd called at 7:30 in the morning, was saying, 'Alberta, what did you get us into?' We'd just now started the race, we were waist-deep in water and the wind was blowing. But on the way back we realized it was a lot shallower by the red and green buoys. The way back was twice as fast because the wind was at our backs and it was shallower. It was a big high on my birthday."

"It's fun," said Carrie Cummings, who was celebrating her 31st birthday and was one of the Team Demented short-course runners. "When you're out there and doing it, you wonder, but when you're done you think it was a lot of fun. Heck, yeah, I'll be back next year."

The Team Demented runners had hand-printed T-shirts with slogans such as, "Run like you stole something."

"The water was great, until about here," Team Demented runner Scott Marnon said as he held his hand waist-high.

"He (Marnon) did this last year, but it was our first year," Team Demented runner Danny Joy said. "What I liked best was the way back, when the wind wasn't in my face."

A few runners had very little mud on them when they finished, but the four prom queens were caked in mud. The prom queens - Juneau-Douglas High School students Heidi Denton, Mikaela Rodriguez, Lena Gilbertson and Elizabeth Eley - bought old prom dresses from a thrift store in honor of the high school prom Saturday night.

"We stopped and mud wrestled to see who was prom queen," Denton said. "I don't know who won."

"I wanted to get my $3 out of this dress I got from the Salvation Army," Gilbertson said.

Miller finished nearly a minute ahead of Mike McKrill, who took second place in 37:03, while Karl Twelker took third place in 37:06. Twelker's mother, Janeann Twelker, won the women's short-course race in 42:25, followed by Megan Bush in 42:38 and the duo of Colleen Jardell and Jessica Etheridge, who both finished in 45:47.

In the long-course race, Don Eagle won in 56:21 with Christian Wilkens, who ran the Boston Marathon two weeks ago, the only other runner to beat an hour at 58:45. Brian Goettler took third in 1:00:46.

The top female long-course runner was Sarah Clark, who just moved to Juneau from Ohio last month, in 1:18:21. Topaz Shryock was the second female in 1:19:24 and Katerina Kuntz-Tadda was third in 1:34:31.

One of Eagle's keys to victory was avoiding a wrong turn many of the long-course runners took along Fish Creek Trail, and he chose an alternate route along the wetlands to the finish line that put him away from the other runners - staying more in the middle of the tidal flats while other runners skirted the edges of a subdivision.

"I know the trail well," said Eagle, who stood shivering with a blanket draped over his shoulders after crossing the finish line. "I was on a direct line (along the wetlands). It's more sloppier and wetter, but it's straighter."

After she crossed the finish line, Clark asked a friend to take her picture so she could send it home to her parents with a note about the race she'd just done.

"I'm used to golf courses," Clark said. "I've never been bloodied and muddy like this. But the water was deep enough it washed a lot of the mud off."

Charles Bingham can be reached at cbingham@juneauempire.com.

MAY DAY MUD (AND MOUNTAIN) RUN

Results from the May Day Mud (and Mountain) Run held Saturday with a start-finish line at the Fish Creek parking lot in North Douglas. The 7-mile long course required runners to follow the Fish Creek Trail toward Eaglecrest Ski Area before heading down Fish Creek Road (the road to Eaglecrest) for a run across the Gastineau Channel and back. The 3-mile short course was an out-and-back run through the Mendenhall Wetlands across the Gastineau Channel and back.

Long course runners - 1. Don Eagle, Male, age 33, 56 minutes, 21 seconds; 2. Christian Wilkens, M, 27, 58;45; 3. Brian Goettler, M, 44, 1:00:46; 4. John Bursell, M, 39, 1:05:05; 5. John Burick, M, 38, 1:07:45; 6. Paul DeSloover, M, 55, 1:08:36; 7. Zane Clark, M, 42, 1:08:36; 8. Paul Dick, M, 45, 1:08:36; 9. Neil Slotnick, M, 46, 1:18:18; 10. Sarah Clark, Female (first female), 25, 1:18:21; 11. Topaz Shryock, F, 26, 1:19:24; 12. Michael Schlechter, M, 41, 1:22:26; 13. Carlos Cadiente, M, 53, 1:23:18; 14. Katerina Kuntz-Tadda, F, 23, 1:34:31; 15. Bridget Brice, F, 38, 1:35:59; 16. Rod Moline, M, 47, 1:35:59; 17. Julie Coris, F, 29, 1:43:22; 18. Lisa Eagan, F, 30, 1:43:24.

Short course runners - 1. Shawn Miller, M, 23, 36:04; 2. Mike McKrill, M, 58, 37:03; 3. Karl Twelker, M, 19, 37:06; 4. Nick Meyer, M, 27, 38:35; 5. Doug Weaver, M, 52, 38:51; 6. Don Beard, M, 54, 38:52; 7. Tony Yorba, M, 49, 39:00; 8. Matthew Voelckers, M, 18, 39:47; 9. Cheyenne Sanchez, M, 15, 39:48; 10. Nick Campbell, M, 16, 40:01; 11. Brian Smith, M, 16, 40:01; 12. Scott Carrlee, M, 39, 40:07; 13. Paul Voelckers, M, 50, 40:13; 14. Phil Millard, M, 32, 40:32; 15. Kurt Hopewell, M, 48, 40:46; 16. Paul LaBelle, M, 26, 41:26; 17. Eric Twelker, M, 53, 41:36; 18. Bryce Mecum, M, 18, 42:20; 19. Janeann Twelker, F (first female), 50, 42:25; 20. Megan Bush, F, 16, 42:38; 21. Carl Broderson, M, 18, 42:55; 22. David Eley, M, 49, 43:01; 23. Drew McDougal, M, 35, 43:11; 24. Jeff Campbell, M, 49, 43:45; 25. Rob Sylvester, M, 15, 43:48; 26. T.J. Slagle, M, 59, 43:59; 27. Colleen Jardell, F, 36, 45:47; 28. Jessica Etheridge, F, 24, 45:47; 29. Jody Dillon, M, 21, 46:08; 30. Cheryl Levitt, F, 31, 46:12; 31. Michelle Schindler, F, 33, 46:16; 32. Byron Wild, M, 18, 46:19; 33. Jill Aho, F, 33, 46:19; 34. Kevin Milton, M, 18, 47:20; 35. Jamie Bursell, F, 40, 47:39; 36. Sheven Treadway, M, 17, 47:52; 37. Colleen Norma, F, 27, 48:02; 38. Allison Heaman, F, 26, 48:03; 39. Scott Marnon, M, 36, 48:12; 40. Doug Edgar, M, 51, 49:24; 41. Cathy Tide, F, 29, 49:52; 42. Dennis Brooks, M, 52, 49:57; 43. Mindi Beattie, F, 25, 50:29; 44. Clare Brooks, F, 51, 50:35; 45. Robby Teas, M, 16, 50:37; 46. Kate Slotnick, F, 45, 50:49; 47. Margaret Clement, F, 51, 50:56; 48. Denise Connors, F, 32, 51:06; 49. Kate Peimann, F, 31, 51:10; 50. Isabel Bush, F, 14, 52:02; 51. Ellen Carrlee, F, 29, 52:48; 52. Alberta Jones, F, 41, 53:16; 53. Renee Gayhart, F, 33, 53:29; 54. Jody Cunningham, F, 29, 53:33; 55. Danny Joy, M, 17, 53:33; 56. Kristen Schultz, F, 33, 53:50; 57. Jan Rutherdale, F, 46, 53:53; 58. Amy Martin, F, 39, 54:08; 59. Jeannette Lacey, F, 27, 54:30; 60. Angie Wrightson, F, 34, 57:03; 61. John Haywood, M, 66, 57:41; 62. Jen Pemberton, F, 31, 57;44; 63. Elizabeth Eley, F, 17, 57:48; 64. Lena Gilbertson, F, 17, 57:49; 65. Mikaela Rodriguez, F 16, 57:49; 66. Heidi Denton, F, 18, 57:49; 67. Laura Haywood, F, 50, 1:01:08; 68. Zelda Swain, F, 30, 1:01:22; 69. Kris Weixelman, F, 40, 1:04:43; 70. Carrie Cummings, F, 31, 1:04:46; 71. Karen Laquaglia, F, 48, 1:04:54; 72. Alicia Petershore, F, 22, 1:29:15; 73. Megan Allen, F, 22, 1:29:15; DNF: Diane Fairbanks, F, 40.



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