Karen Nanseth was running at a moderate pace, enjoying the ideal conditions for Saturday's Eaglecrest Hill Climb when she looked over and realized she was about to lose the lead in the women's race.
Kathy Coghill briefly passed Nanseth about three miles into the five-mile run up Fish Creek Road, and that was all Nanseth needed to kick her own race into another gear. Nanseth regained the lead within the next five seconds, and held on to claim the women's division title by 14 seconds over Coghill.
Nanseth covered the course in 41 minutes, 31 seconds, good for 11th place overall, while Coghill finished in 41:45 for 12th overall. Kim Rivera was the third female runner to finish, taking 18th overall in a time of 44:14.
"It was nice weather," Nanseth said of the overcast but mostly dry conditions. "About maybe Mile 3.4 I thought I heard a female behind me, and that's about when she passed me. It was perfect weather, not blowing like it was last year."
"She had the lead, and I was just trying to keep her in sight," said Coghill, who recently returned to Juneau after living in Seattle for awhile. "I was just trying to keep her in sight. I'm training for the Klondike (Trail of '98 Road Relay from Skagway to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, in September), and I've got Leg One. This was a good reality check."
Eeaglecrest Hill Climb
Results from the Southeast Road Runners club's Eaglecrest Hill Climb, a five-mile run up Fish Creek Road to Eaglecrest Ski Area on Saturday morning. There was also a one-mile run. Racers are listed with their ages, genders and time.
Five-mile race -- 1. John Bursell, age 37, Male, 31 minutes, 59 seconds; 2. Don Eagle, 31, M, 34:46; 3. Tracy Rivera, 34, M, 34:50; 4. Rob Campbell, 42, M, 35:51; 5. Brian Goettler, 42, M, 35:57; 6. Dirk Miller, 40, M, 39:31; 7. Glenn Frick, 62, M, 40:10; 8. Gordon Taylor, 50, M, 40:10; 9. Keith Marshall, 42, M, 40:14; 10. Andy West, 32, M, 40:58; 11. Karen Nanseth, 38, Female, 41:31 (first female); 12. Kathy Coghill, 40, F, 41:45; 13. Paul Voelckers, 48, M, 42:04; 14. Robert Hopson, 38, M, 42:24; 15. Patrick Gullefsen, 54, M, 42:52; 16. Steve Mack, 33, M, 44:12; 17. Lach Zemp, 40, M, 44:13; 18. Kim Rivera, 41, F, 44:14; 19. JaneAnn Twelker, 48, F, 44:30; 20. Terry Kelly, 43, M, 44:49; 21. Paul DeSloover, 53, M, 45:00; 22. Don Beard, 52, M, 45:01; 23. Doug Weaver, 50, M, 45:02; 24. Kim Hurley, 27, F, 45:21; 25. Mark Hopson, 36, M, 45:38;
26. Dan McCrummen, 45, M, 46:15; 27. Deborah Rudis, 47, F, 46:32; 28. Jamie Bursell, 38, F, 47:13; 29. Tim Hahnlen, 44, M, 47:21; 30. Dave Bartlett, 36, M, 47:57; 31. Bruce Hahnlen, 43, M, 48:12; 32. Charles Bursell, 64, M, 48:20; 33. Ingrid Stevens, 22, F, 49:50; 34. Clayton Hawkes, 48, M, 50:25; 35. Katie Perry, 50, F, 50:30; 36. Donna Hahnlen, 39, F, 50:36; 37. Scott Marnon, 34, M, 50:44; 38. Wes Coyner, 73, F, 51:01; 39. Cameron Young, 33, F, 51:51; 40. Theresa Thibodeau, 46, F, 54:28; 41. Jeanne Foy, 39, F, 54:41; 42. John Blank, 35, M, 55:22; 43. Ken Hoff, 37, M, 59:28; 44. Karen Laquaglia, 46, F, 1:00:24; 45. Paula Recchia, 48, F, 1:00:26; 46. Isabel Hesson, 48, F, 1:09:43.
One-mile race -- 1. Chris Frank, 16, Male, 6 minutes, 33.78 seconds; 2. Philip Dierking, 16, M, 6:34.46; 3. Elise Wahto, 14, Female, 6:59.60; 4. Gretchen Dierking, 13, F, 7:00.08; 5. Ky Clark, 10, M, 7:07.97; 6. Robin Woodby, 9, M, 7:23.60; 7. Cameron Clark, 8, M, 7:24.60; 8. Zane Clark, 40, M, 7:39.90; 9. Andy Lawson, 8, M, 7:42.90; 10. Zachary Bursell, 8, M, 7:51.60; 11. Aidan Sabety-Mass, 7, M, 9:18.56; 12. Martin Woodby, 6, M, 9:31.29; 13. Doug Woodby, 47, M, 9:32.10; 14. Auri Clark, 6, F, 12:33.00; 15. Adrienne Audet, 3, F, no time.
Nanseth said she took advantage of last week's sunny weather to run up Mount McGinnis on Monday and to hike Mount Jumbo on Thursday, but she thinks Thursday's hike hurt her leg. After the race she spent several minutes trying to stretch out the back of her legs.
Still, she welcomed Coghill's return to Juneau, even if it means she's got another runner to watch out for in Southeast Road Runners events. The two women have already had some training runs together, and now they're developing a friendly rivalry.
"Thank God, Kathy was there," Nanseth said. "Once she actually passed me, it made me go faster. I like having someone else who runs about my pace in town. If it had been Merry (Ellefson, another top female runner in town), she would have been so far ahead of me. You need that person who can pull you from in front, or push you from behind."
While Nanseth and Coghill were having the brief duel in the women's race, John Bursell left little doubt who was going to win the men's race. Bursell hit the course at full speed, trying to take advantage of an early downhill, while many of the other runners held back at the start trying to save their energy for the climb.
Bursell finished the course in 31:59 to claim the overall title, finishing nearly four minutes ahead of runner-up Don Eagle's time of 34:46. Eagle started slowly and needed a late sprint to edge out third-place finisher Tracy Rivera, who posted a time of 34:50.
"I started a little faster at the beginning than everyone else," Bursell said. "I was really working on maintaining a constant intensity, and I was trying not to walk. I think this was my best time by a ways."
Eagle said he almost started out too slow, then he had to worry if he'd be able to catch everyone but Bursell at the finish. Eagle said he had a heart monitor on his watch, and he was trying to be careful with his heart rate and pace on the hills.
"I was well behind Tracy and (fifth-place finisher) Brian Goettler almost all the way up, at least for the first couple of miles," Eagle said. "I passed Brian with about two miles to go, and I was about 100 yards behind Tracy. I was still 100 feet behind Tracy as we entered the (Eaglecrest Ski Area) parking lot, and I put on an all-out effort for sure. I felt the whole race I could catch him on the flats, but I was wondering if I would run out of time at the end."
Rivera, who won last weekend's Haines Triathlon, said a deer hunt this week took his energy away. Rivera said he spent two days climbing all over Admiralty Island, to the 3,700-foot level, for his hunt, then the clouds rolled in and he had to hike out without getting a deer.
"Two days of deer hunting took it out of me," Rivera said.
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.