In describing the 5-kilometer course for the 29th Annual JRC/The Alaska Club Governor's Cup race Saturday, winner Shawn Miller said it was a flat course with some deceptive hills along the way.
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Those hills didn't appear to affect Miller much as he ran away with the title, crossing the tape in 15 minutes and 23 seconds. It was Miller's sixth-consecutive Governor's Cup victory
"It's fast, but it can be deceiving," Miller said. "It is a fast course but it has a couple subtle uphills along the way, including a big hill about 212 miles in."
Miller led the 63-person pack from the race's beginning, at the Capitol, to the end at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium parking lot off Glacier Highway.
A small pack kept pace with Miller early on before he turned on the jets at the race's midway point.
Everyone seemingly took advantage of the cool conditions and fast pace.
"It's a fast 5K on the ground," Miller said. "It's a good indicator to see where they are fitness-wise for a race of this distance."
Juneau-Douglas High School student Katie Krehlik said she was surprised by her time. Krehlik was the first female to cross the line, completing the course in 18:57. Krehlik, 16, was also the top female finisher last year.
"I'm very happy," Krehlik said. "I thought I was more 19-something."
The race featured a very quick pace and many runners appeared to be in optimum shape.
The race's friendly, competitive spirit led to some fast times for the 29th edition of the Governor's Cup.
"I think what people like about this race is that it's a fast course," race director Caro Rosier-Polley said. "A lot of it is downhill so I think it gives people the opportunity to see what they can do for a 5K."
Darla Orbistondo, 43, said she shaved nearly two minutes off her personal best.
Orbistondo finished in 26:40, good for 49th overall.
"Not a lot of participants, but the group of runners make it very fast," Orbistondo said. "That's maybe why I bettered my time by more than two minutes. You get caught up in the fast pace."
For many competing in Saturday's race, the competition wasn't so much about who got to the finish first as much as spending time with friends.
Miller, along with Robert Sowers and others, cheered for people crossing the finish line, while Orbistondo said she enjoyed the camaraderie shared by the athletes.
"I think it's great," Orbistondo said. "We've got such a beautiful place to run. It's fun to see the same people as last year and see what injuries we have."
In the 1-mile kids race, 9-year-old Riley Moser won in 6:11. Katie Rutherdale, also 9, captured the half-mile race in 3:45.
The next Southeast Road Runners race is the East Glacier Trail Tangle on Wednesday.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.