Salmon Run Series wraps up

Salmon Run Series wraps up

The increasingly popular summertime Salmon Run Series wrapped up Wednesday evening under fantastically sunny skies, and to mark the occasion, one of Alaska’s own Olympians stopped by.

Nordic skier and two-time winter Olympian Holly Brooks barely arrived in time, but so did much of the field of 136 runners that partook in the fifth and final five-kilometer race on the Tsalteshi Trails behind Skyview Middle School. After a delayed flight and afternoon traffic jam left Brooks in a scramble to get to the event in time, the Anchorage Pacific University skier found herself immersed in a crowd of engaged runners that ranged in age from grade school to mothers and fathers of burgeoning athletes.

“I’m really happy to be here,” Brooks said. “I just flew in here today, barely got here but this is great.”

The brainchild of local running phenom Allie Ostrander, the Salmon Run Series was conceived as part of a class project that Kenai Central freshmen are challenged to. Three years ago, Ostrander organized and hosted the first set of races, and with each passing summer, the five-race series that begins shortly after the July Fourth holiday and ends in the dead heat of August has continued to grow in popularity and creativeness. With a similar feel to Anchorage’s popular Tuesday Night race series, which has been ongoing for well over a decade, the Salmon Run Series has helped open up the trails to Kenai and Soldotna residents that otherwise would not share Tsalteshi with the usual crowd, and Brooks took notice of Ostrander’s work.

“I’m so impressed,” said Brooks. “What fabulous leadership, and way to be not just a fast runner, but to inspire people through your advocacy and basically empower other people to get out here too.”

Prior to the adult race Wednesday — which was thankfully delayed a half hour because of the influx of latecomers from the traffic jam — Brooks and Ostrander teamed up to assist and encourage young, future superstars in a 1-kilometer race in front of the trail system. Ostrander runs with the kids on a weekly basis for the series, but with the help of Brooks, the double whammy of running stardom gave the field of little ones even more motivation to run fast.

The best surprise of all came in the finishing area, where each girl and boy was presented with a “Healthy Hero” medal to hang around their neck. Brooks’ presence at the event was partially in support of the Healthy Futures nonprofit organization that she is involved in, which teaches healthy life habits to children by school demonstrations and local events and race around Anchorage and outlying areas.

The two-time Mount Marathon champion added that she was not surprised at all in the turnout.

“I think it’s a great event and I’ve heard great things about it,” she said. “I know attendance has been going up and up. It’s a great crowd out here tonight.”

Brooks said she was invited by Ostrander to come out for one of the races at a late-June film premiere of “3,022 Ft”, an hour-long documentary covering the Super Bowl of Alaska mountain running, Mount Marathon.

With both women holding impressive resumes in the event — Brooks a two-time senior women’s winner and Ostrander a six-time junior girls winner and runner-up in this year’s record-breaking women’s senior race — there were no shortage of friends and new acquaintances lined up to meet Brooks or just to gab about running with her. 

“This is a great group of kids, and it’s the perfect night for it,” she said, adding that the last time she was at the Tsalteshi Trails was several years ago as a coach at Alaska Pacific University.

Jake Streich picked up the victory Wednesday night, holding off women’s winner Taylor Ostrander by three seconds with a time of 19 minutes, 35 seconds. Brian Beeson finished third overall in 19:51, while Alex Bergholtz finished second among women in 21:49, good for ninth overall. Bergholtz led a strong group of female runners across the line that included Brooks in 13th.

While there are no overall titles given out for the five-race series, Rex Shields claimed three wins in three attempts this summer in the series to stamp his name as one of the fastest trail warriors this summer, while five different women claimed wins.

The race also provided one of the last chances for Kenai Peninsula Borough and School District employees to strut their stuff in the “Battle of Binkley.” The ongoing competition between borough and school district employees has fueled a fun and friendly battle to boost attendance at the races. A point is given for either side every employee that shows up to run, and the competition will end next Wednesday at the Fountain of Youth 5K, an event which will be preceded by a final showdown between borough mayor Mike Navarre and school district superintendent Sean Dusek.


Salmon Run race 5

Wednesday at Tsalteshi Trails

1. Jake Streich, 19:35; 2. Taylor Ostrander, 19:38; 3. Brian Beeson, 19:51; 4. Nate Mole, 20:14; 5. Joe Sandahl, 20:45; 6. Nathan Kincaid, 21:03; 7. Tony Eskelin, 21:33; 8. Carl Kincaid, 21:35; 9. Alex Bergholtz, 21:49; 10. Ithaca Bergholtz, 21:51; 11. Jesse Kincaid, 21:52; 12. Addison Gibson, 21:53; 13. Holly Brooks, 21:55; 14. Joey Klecka, 21:56; 15. Scott Huff, 22:03; 16. Tom Kobylarz, 23:04; 17. Fox Michaud, 23:29; 18. Ben Hanson, 23:34; 19. Kevin Lauver, 23:37; 20. Cynthia Fudzinski, 23:45; 21. Gina Gregoire, 23:55; 22. Sean Goff, 23:56; 23. Ryan Nelson, 23:56; 24. Jamie Nelson, 24:20; 25. John Paul Dammeyer, 24:44.

26. Savai’l Heaven, 24:55; 27. Libby Nedens, 25:01; 28. Scott Sumner, 25:07; 29. Elizabeth Hardie, 25:28; 30. Holly Nedens, 25:32; 31. Sondra Stonecipher, 25:45; 32. Sarah Pyhala, 25:48; 33. Daniel Conetta, 25:56; 34. Jaycie Calvert, 26:11; 35. Ryan Sanders, 26:12; 36. Mikaela Salzetti, 26:12; 37. Dave Litchfield, 26:25; 38. Chad Arthur, 26:33; 39. Kristie Cotroneo, 26:46; 40. Joseph Dammeyer, 27:10; 41. Brad Nyquist, 27:29; 42. Rob Carson, 27:35; 43. Sarah Hollers, 27:42; 44. Maria Salzetti, 27:42; 45. Loren Hollers, 27:47; 46. Jane Fuerstenau, 27:54; 47. Ree Lynn Lisenby, 27:57; 48. Kyle Blackketter, 28:02; 49. Eric Soderquist, 28:03; 50. Patty Moran, 28:07.

51. Amy Baxter, 28:18; 52. Harper Wight, 28:21; 53. Kate Swaby, 28:31; 54. Jami Wight, 28:31; 55. Isabella Dammeyer, 28:51; 56. Dylan Hogue, 29:01; 57. Christine Bergholtz, 29:01; 58. Carter Cannava, 29:03; 59. Peter Cannava, 29:03; 60. Samuel Anders, 29:13; 61. Anna Lattin, 29:14; 62. Heather Moon, 29:14; 63. William Weeks, 29:15; 64. Nadia Anders, 29:21; 65. Tasha Skolnick, 29:42; 66. Regina Theisen, 29:52; 67. Robert Hunter, 29:56; 68. Steve Cothran, 29:59; 69. Carrie Henson, 30:01; 70. Julie English, 30:06; 71. Erin Neisinger, 30:07; 72. Wyatt White, 30:08; 73. Bill Grabowski, 31:21; 74. Owen Huff, 31:25; 75. Alexandria Bergholtz, 31:41.

76. Melinda Miller, 31:47; 77. Jen Showalter, 31:51; 78. Terri Cowart, 31:57; 79. Kaley Hunter, 32:31; 80. Kasey Paxton, 32:31; 81. Misty Peterkin, 32:31; 82. Noelle Lattin, 32:39; 83. Emma-Clare Dammeyer, 32:39; 84. Dana McDonald, 32:39; 85. Cassie Collins, 33:13; 86. Mitch Michaud, 33:47; 87. Katie Cooper, 34:37; 88. Landen Showalter, 34:44; 89. Jack Laker, 34:53; 90. Ian McGarry, 34:54; 91. Alek McGarry, 35:01; 92. Amy Hogue, 35:25; 93. Maria Sweppy, 35:32; 94. Bill Butgic, 36:47; 95. Angie Nelson, 37:06; 96. Maddie Michaud, 37:31; 97. Rinna Carson, 37:54; 98. Madison McDonald, 38:02; 99. Ariana Cannava, 38:09; 100. Katrina Cannava, 38:09.

101. Aubree Renfro, 39:16; 102. Chase Laker, 39:27; 103. Julie Laker, 39:27; 104. Willow Graham, 40:18; 105. Kyle Graham, 40:21; 106. Lauri Lingafelt, 40:44; 107. James Dammeyer, 40:53; 108. Maria Dammeyer, 40:54; 109. Charly Morton, 41:07; 110. Castiel, 41:07; 111. Matt Brown, 41:22; 112. Robert Carson, 41:51; 113. Ethan Hogue, 41:51; 114. Molly Streich, 42:18; 115. Leah Streich, 42:09; 116. Shannon Dosko, 42:14; 117. Liz Leduc, 42:22; 118. Sharon Nicole Peterkin, 42:37; 119. Sydney Smith, 42:44; 120. Mary Bodnar, 42:48; 121. Karah Huff, 43:24; 122. Kim Kimball, 43:26; 123. Leah English, 44:02; 124. Penny Furnish, 44:04; 125. Nathan Lattin, 44:20.

126. Heather Huff, 44:21; 127. Clay Blackketter, 45:05; 128. Christie Blackketter, 45:06; 129. Audrey McDonald, 45:20; 130. Nicole Egholm, 45:26; 131. Aiden Huff, 45:47; 132. Lynn Blackketter, 49:37; 133. Olivia Blackketter, 49:38; 134. Terry Edmundson, 49:39; 135. Laurie Olson, 60:51; 136. Jim White, 60:51.

Salmon Run Series wraps up
Salmon Run Series wraps up
Salmon Run Series wraps up

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