Miller wins the half-marathon

Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2005

Juneau's Shawn Miller erased the 9-year-old course record in the Douglas Island Half-Marathon on Saturday.

Miller, who is training for the Motor City Marathon on Oct. 23 in Detroit, completed the 13.1-mile course in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 33 seconds. That time broke the 1996 course record of 1:10:52 set by Ramon Colon Malave of Bartan Quinto, Puerto Rico.

"It was very even, I think I had 34:17 at the halfway point," Miller said. "I think I ran 5:24 miles, maybe 5:23, and the old record was 5:25 splits."

Saturday's victory gives Miller, 25, the course records for both the Frank Maier Marathon and Douglas Island Half-Marathon. In 2003, Miller clocked a personal-record 2:31:30 to win the Frank Maier. Earlier this summer, Miller won the Couer D'Alene Marathon in Idaho with a time of 2:37:24.

"I'm still trying to get the work in so I can run a 2:30 in Detroit," Miller said. "This is a great confidence boost."

Dave Pusich took second place in the half-marathon in 1:17:20, while Gabe Hayden was third in 1:20:05. Ken Maas was the top masters runner (age 40-older) in 1:21:30, followed by Guy Thibodeau in 1:24:08 and Rick Thibodeau in 1:24:13. All of the top male runners were from Juneau.

Ann Farris of Fairbanks won the women's race in 1:39:52. Hannah Slotnick of Juneau took second place in the open division (age 39-younger) in 1:45:34. Juneau's JaneAnn Twelker was the top masters woman and second overall in 1:45:05.

"I just wanted to do the race, and I had some work here in town, so it was a half-and-half trip," said Farris, 34, who works for the state's Department of Environmental Conservation. "This is the first time I've won a running race before."

There were 103 finishers in the half-marathon from 13 states and New Zealand. Zack Bursell, 12, was the youngest finisher, posting a time of 1:43:08 for 30th place overall. Bursell starts the seventh grade this fall at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School.

"I was tired all the way, I'm not a morning person," Bursell said. "The most fun part was the finish."

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