Taking time out for racing

Weston uses her lunch break to win Douglas Two-Miler

Posted: Friday, July 05, 2002

Brandy Weston was a busy woman on Thursday.

Weston, a 2001 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate who runs for Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., was working at her summer job at the Douglas Island Pink And Chum hatchery (DIPAC) when she noticed the time. Time for a little fun run.

Weston quickly drove over to the start line of the Douglas Two-Miler, and entered the race. Once on the course, she didn't waste time finishing.

Weston was the top female finisher, posting an unofficial time of 11 minutes, 32 seconds. Finishing second among women, about a minute behind, was 1992 Olympic downhill ski silver medalist and 1997 World Downhill champion Hilary Lindh, while Michaele Kielty and JoAnn Quigg tied for third place among women.

Official times were not available due to a clock malfunction.

"Brandy took it out, she was pushing the pace," said John Bursell, who was the overall winner in 10:43. "Bryce (Iverson, the second-place finisher in 10:53) caught her and took us up the hill."

"I have to go back to work, I'm on my lunch break," Weston said. "My bosses were pretty cool with it, they let me come run the race."

Weston was paced across the finish line by Jesse Stringer, who graduated from JDHS in May and will run for the University of Portland this fall. Weston and Stringer posted the fifth and sixth fastest times overall, not counting the unknown and unregistered bandit runner who was third to cross the finish line. Tristan Knutson-Lombardo and Gabe Hayden were the third and fourth official runners across the finish line.

For Iverson, this was his second-to-last race in Juneau. Iverson just completed his freshman year at JDHS, but his family is moving to Manassas, Va., because his father was transferred to the Washington, D.C., office of the U.S. Forest Service. Iverson's last race will be Saturday's Governor's Cup.

"The kid with jeans (the bandit runner) was leading until Lawson Creek, but I don't think he was in the race, just jogging," Iverson said. "It was a lot quicker today (compared to last Saturday's Windfall Lake Trail Challenge). Yeah, I'll be in D.C. with the humidity and everything."

Thursday's race was the first local competitive venture in several years for Lindh, who grew up in Juneau but now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. She's in town visiting family for a few days, so she decided to enter the race.

"This is my first race in Juneau for a long time," said Lindh, whose time wasn't available. "But I did a half-marathon two weeks ago in Vancouver, so I am running. This is the quietest Fourth (of July) I've ever seen here."

The Douglas Two-Miler, which takes place right after the Fourth of July parade in Douglas, is short enough to attract a lot of younger runners. Several kids in a youth running club sponsored by Bursell and his wife, Jamie, entered Thursday's race.

"This was my first Fourth of July run," said Nathan Wilson, 11, who is not in the youth running club. "I did it in 17 minutes. I usually like to run, so I think I'll run Saturday, too."

The loose structure of the race also attracted a family reunion. The Beedle family (with a few Olmsteads mixed in) entered the race, all with matching T-shirts.

"The plan was to run as a group, but that didn't work," said Joe Beedle Jr., who said 15 runners in the clan entered the race.

Jana Olmstead, 8, was the youngest of the Beedle clan to enter, running the race in a pair of rubberized clogs.

The last finisher in the race was Lucille Park, a visitor from San Diego, who took about 26 1/2 minutes to complete the course.

"I'm just starting to get into it," Park said. "I'm just starting to run and walk, so I had to come out and do it."

A list of finishers will be published on Sunday.

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

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