Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Women's 5K race winner LeeAnn Burns of Eagle River takes a quick drink midway through Saturday's Run for the River in Soldotna.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Women's 5K race winner LeeAnn Burns of Eagle River takes a quick drink midway through Saturday's Run for the River in Soldotna.

Seward’s Adams blitzes Run for River 10-miler to the tune of 52:40

Saturday morning’s Run for the River featured a pair of new faces and a pair of familiar ones in the winner’s circle.

A crowd of 223 runners showed up to race Saturday, but hardly anyone saw the men’s winner in the 10-mile race.

Seward native Matt Adams blitzed the course with a jaw-dropping time of 52 minutes, 40 seconds, which equates to a 5:16 mile pace.

“When I saw (the leading cycler) on the fat tires, I knew they chose the wrong bike,” Adams said, referring to the leading cyclist that blazes the trail for runners.

The Run for the River is part of the 26th annual Kenai River Festival, which runs through today.

Adams beat runner-up Adam Reimer of Soldotna to the line by almost 10 minutes, and did so with a new course record. Of course, the trail was a fresh one that made its debut.

The route varied just slightly from years past, beginning on the other side of a wall of trees that divide the parking lot and the pavilion area. From the start, runners take the pathway in front of Kenai River Brewing and spill out onto the wooded trails that lead to Lingenberry Drive, which transitions to Swiftwater Park Road. The trails and roads run parallel to the Kenai River.

With several changes in routes over the years, it’s impossible to know who holds the official course record, but Adams’ time is one of the fastest in the history of the event. Men’s race winners typically cross the line around an hour, with weather usually dictating how fast they can run. Utah runner Rex Shields posted a time of 58:32 in the 2014 edition, one of the faster times in recent runnings.

Adams grew up in Seward and his running career landed him on the Montana State cross-country team in Bozeman. The 2005 Mt. Marathon junior champion and 2012 Mayor’s Marathon winner narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympic marathon trails in 2014.

Now, currently working at Sunrise Cafe in Cooper Landing for the summer, Adams was able to preview the course that his girlfriend marked about two weeks prior, and the knowledge paid off.

“I wanted to see how I felt about halfway through, and when I looked, I thought I could maybe break 55 (minutes),” Adams said. “I thought I was too slow so I kicked it in at the end.”

Kenai’s Heather Moon claimed the win in the women’s 10-miler, finishing with a time of 1:17:06 to beat Nikiski’s Anna Widman by 48 seconds. Moon said several runners in the group around her took a wrong turn midway through the course and ran an additional half mile by her estimate.

However, the extra mileage wasn’t enough to keep her from the top step of the podium.

“I didn’t look back, I never do,” Moon said about Widman’s presence behind her.

The 10-mile victory was the second for Moon in the women’s event, adding to the one she captured in 2012.

In the men’s 5-kilometer race, Jonah Theisen, fresh off his Division II men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase championship, crossed the finish line dead even with twin brother Jordan in 17:51, a rather pedestrian time by their standards.

The two brothers both compete at Black Hills State in Spearfish, South Dakota, although Jordan did not begin attending until the spring semester, opting to join the US National Guard in the fall. Jordan said Black Hills State running coach Scott Walkinshaw pulled out all the stops in luring both Theisen’s to his cross-country program.

“Coach never lost hope,” quipped Jordan.

The 2015 Kenai Central graduates took an early lead and ran step for step with each other until the finish, crossing the line at the same time to become co-winners, 2:22 ahead of third-place Tony Eskelin.

Walkinshaw confined each of his collegiate runners to a two-week break after the outdoor track season, and Jordan said he was already past his two weeks, but Jonah was right on the edge.

On May 27, Jonah became the first NCAA champion for Black Hills State, which made the switch from the NAIA level a few years ago.

“It feels so easy,” he said. “We had the perfect tempo today.”

Jordan won the Run for the River 5K in 2013, giving him his second victory in the race.

Women’s 5K winner LeeAnn Burns from Eagle River was one of the faces that had never competed in the Soldotna race before. Burns made the trip south with her husband, Kirk, and their 16-month-old toddler. Kirk is competing in today’s Tri the Kenai triathlon, but LeeAnn decided to enter Saturday’s 5K on a whim.

“I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know the course, but I liked this atmosphere,” Burns said. “It was a big surprise to win.”

Burns claimed the victory with a time of 20:48, beating second-place Rebecca Hitchcock by 56 seconds. Burns, a Florida native who moved with her husband to Alaska several years ago, said she uses Crossfit and triathlons to stay fit.

“That’s kind of the thing to do down there,” she said.

Among the triathlons Burns has to her credit are the Gold Nugget and Eagle River triathlons.

Run for the River

Saturday in Soldotna

Men’s 10-miler — 1. Matt Adams, 52 minutes, 40 seconds; 2. Adam Reimer, 1:02:35; 3. Nicholas Bicandi, 1:07:24; 4. Lance Chilton, 1:15:33; 5. Mark Hinton, 1:17:38; 6. Scott Huff, 1:19:14; 7. David Parrish, 1:20:03; 8. Jay Harris, 1:20:03; 9. Benjamin McGarry, 1:20:11; 10. Bill Taylor, 1:20:28; 11. Keir Johnson, 1:23:01; 12. Mark Frischkorn, 1:25:20; 13. M. Scott Moon, 1:27:19; 14. Keith Coddington, 1:27:53; 15. Derrick Parham, 1:41:01; 16. Patrick Mize, 1:41:48; 17. Dillon Jensen, 1:51:23.

Women’s 10-miler — 1. Heather Moon, 1:17:06; 2. Anna Widman, 1:17:54; 3. Rena Anderson, 1:21:38; 4. Brianne Steed, 1:26:29; 5. Kristy Berington, 1:26:29; 6. Susan Craig, 1:26:39; 7. Nadia Anders, 1:30:19; 8. Candy Goldstein, 1:32:14; 9. Katrina Cannava, 1:34:09; 10. Jennifer Stenberg, 1:34:35; 11. Katie Evans, 1:35:26; 12. Jeri Collins, 1:35:59; 13. Diane Duncan, 1:36:04; 14. Kayla Hinton, 1:37:10; 15. Kimberly Tornow, 1:37:58; 16. Amy Van De Grift, 1:39:18; 17. Angelica Sulley, 1:39:20; 18. Jen Showalter, 1:39:29; 19. Bobbi Lay, 1:39:59; 20. Melinda Miller, 1:41:00; 21. Maya Chay, 1:43:02; 22. Rebeka Heames, 1:44:08; 23. Julie Drulis, 1:44:26; 24. Nicole Shelden, 1:48:08; 25. Lisa Atchley, 1:48:08.

26. Dana McDonald, 1:50:56; 27. Leah Beck, 1:51:23; 28. Christa Kennedy, 1:51:26; 29. Ciara Johnson, 1:51:26; 30. Maria Sweppy, 2:00:17; 31. Rinna Carson, 2:04:29; 32. Deverie Bergevin, 2:05:55; 33. Amy Hogue, 2:11:41; 34. Bernadette Borealis, 2:11:41.

Men’s 5K — 1. Jonah Theisen, 17:51; 1. Jordan Theisen, 17:51; 3. Tony Eskelin, 20:13; 4. Carl Kincaid, 20:45; 5. Leif Lofquist, 21:06; 6. Kent Peterson, 21:16; 7. Ken Youngberg, 22:01; 8. Rustin Hitchcock, 22:33; 9. Dylan Hogue, 22:44; 10. Nathan Kincaid, 23:07; 11. Chance Reynolds, 23:07; 12. Joel Burns, 23:12; 13. Marc Johnson, 23:18; 14. Samuel Anders, 24:53; 15. Dan Chay, 24:59; 16. Tom Seggerman, 25:01; 17. Rob Carson, 25:29; 18. Tom Hutton, 25:46; 19. Clark Fair, 26:22; 20. Bill Berkhahn, 26:40; 21. Rich Bond, 27:03; 22. Erin Hake, 27:53; 23. Drew Rogowski, 27:54; 24. Jeff Smith, 29:03; 25. Ryan Hogan, 29:06.

26. Pete Sprague, 29:10; 27. Henry Heft, 30:25; 28. Austin Teter, 31:01; 29. Michael Tallent, 31:05; 30. Mathew Walton, 32:06; 31. Ethan Hogue, 33:15; 32. Dwight Brown, 33:46; 33. Thomas Brown, 33:47; 34. Joe Hart, 33:50; 35. Bud Sexton, 35:57; 36. Ray Chumley, 36:55; 37. Jason Morton, 38:15; 38. Aidan Culver, 39:30; 39. Declan Culver, 39:58; 40. Christopher Walker, 40:10; 41. Douglas Morton, 40:19; 42. Jacob Jackson, 40:24; 43. James Taylor, 41:40; 44. Greg Matturro, 42:06; 45. Sam Lightle, 45:48; 46. Montu Jani, 45:53; 47. Justin Martin, 46:27; 48. Dean Kealy, 46:39; 49. John Chapman, 49:15.

50. Tom Kobylarz, 51:35; 51. Isaiah Talcott, 52:52; 52. Eli Settlemyer, 55:32; 53. Rayce Kato, 1:02:36.

Women’s 5K — 1. LeeAnn Burns, 20:48; 2. Rebecca Hitchcock, 21:44; 3. Molly Erickson, 22:03; 4. Brooke Satathite, 22:04; 5. Geneva Toolajian, 22:05; 6. Sue Seggerman, 23:03; 7. Emily Heale, 23:05; 8. Melanie Sexton, 23:09; 9. Sarah Walton, 24:15; 10. Maya Johnson, 24:50; 11. Joan Ryan, 25:20; 12. Ellie Burns, 25:39; 13. Annie Burns, 25:39; 14. Jacquelyn Kennedy, 26:26; 15. Jenny Olendorff, 26:56; 16. Kate Tutela, 27:56; 17. Sadie Lansing, 28:14; 18. Jordan Ruffner, 28:41; 19. Joy Hobart, 29:01; 20. Sara Crapuchettes, 29:33; 21. Patti Berkhahn, 29:45; 22. Hope Derkevorkian, 29:46; 23. Kimberly Lofquist, 29:58; 24. Alyse Bell, 30:00; 25. Kimberly Glidden, 30:06.

26. Breanna McConnell, 30:40; 27. Kyaran Matturo, 30:42; 28. Jessie Huett, 30:45; 29. Katie Mae Tallent, 31:05; 30. Tasha Reynolds, 32:04; 31. Macey Hoffman, 32:10; 32. Terri Cowart, 32:13; 33. Erika Trez, 32:41; 34. Heidi Chay, 32:41; 35. Tara Ruffner, 32:46; 36. Holly Frederickson, 32:57; 37. Hannah Dolphin, 33:15; 38. Kathy Kealy, 34:14; 39. Heather Davey, 34:54; 40. Lia Wall, 34:55; 41. Patricia Walton, 35:07; 42. Connie Wheat, 35:23; 43. Brigette Escott, 36:15; 44. Nikiesha Richards, 36:15; 45. Karen Hutton, 37:11; 46. Mattison Hersh, 37:13; 47. Sara Dennis, 37:23; 48. Jennifer Tollackson, 37:23; 49. RaChelle Gruenberg, 37:23; 50. Karyn Griffin, 37:46.

51. Nicole Marshall, 38:15; 52. Tricia Hersh, 38:25; 53. Becky Hart, 38:33; 54. Taylor Ruffner, 38:53; 55. Melodie Allen, 39:21; 56. Mary Hamby, 39:50; 57. Lizz Giver, 39:50; 58. Payton Matturo, 40:02; 59. Cassie Ostrander, 40:08; 60. Jacey Morton, 40:18; 61. Jennifer Jackson, 40:25; 62. Lindsey Kerr, 41:17; 63. Kelly Hicks, 41:34; 64. Kayla Haeg, 41:40; 65. Amy Rogde 41:43; 66. Natalie Kohler, 42:06; 67. Kelly Lawson, 42:09; 68. Mona Saunders, 42:32; 69. Jacqlene Drulis, 42:35; 70. Hailey Stonecipher, 43:13; 71. Sondra Stonecipher, 43:15; 72. Monica Henson, 44:14; 73. Karen Reagan Scroggins, 44:14; 74. Teresa Dalebout, 44:29; 75. Jennifer Chumley, 44:40.

76. Lucinda Denton, 44:58; 77. Cassandra Windslow, 45:10; 78. Stephanie Kobylarz, 45:31; 79. Gayle Koger, 45:35; 80. Kathy Sexton, 45:47; 81. Wendy Hansen-Newby, 46:28; 82. Darcy Kealy, 46:39; 83. Nivia Martin, 46:45; 84. Kathy Hobart, 47:00; 85. Dotty Brown, 48:14; 86. Angie Brown, 48:28; 87. Elaine Woodburn, 48:48; 88. Sara Moore, 48:54; 89. Linda Loranger, 48:55; 90. Sharon Isaak, 49:10; 91. Mary Chapman, 49:14; 92. Nicole Egholm, 49:18; 93. Sydney Smith, 50:22; 94. Tatyanah Stott, 50:23; 95. Marcia Corcoran, 50:30; 96. Lauri Lingafelt, 50:31; 97. Paula Standefer, 51:25; 98. Mary Starrs Armstrong, 51:26; 99. Olivia Kobylarz, 51:33.

100. Teagen Kobylarz, 51:36; 101. Marie Heft, 52:05; 102. Kylie Beaudion, 52:48; 103. Qyndra Waterbury, 52:58; 104. Cherice Waterbury, 52:59; 105. Emily Mayberry, 55:16; 106. Katy Settlemyer, 55:32; 107. Mia Settlemyer, 56:37; 108. Hadley Kornelis, 58:10; 109. Smily Kornelis, 58:10; 110. Mary Rhyner, 58:10; 111. Chandra Morton, 59:16; 112. Julia Morton, 59:16; 113. Sheila Siemion, 59:50; 114. Mary Kennedy, 1:00:22; 115. Lorali Moore, 1:00:22; 116. Megan Kato, 1:02:37; 117. Jacqueline Smith, 1:03:19; 118. Pamela Culver, 1:03:19.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Men's 10-mile winner Matt Adams of Seward leads in the early stages of Saturday's Run for the River in Soldotna. Trailing Adams is Soldotna runner Adam Reimer (right) and Lance Chilton.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Men’s 10-mile winner Matt Adams of Seward leads in the early stages of Saturday’s Run for the River in Soldotna. Trailing Adams is Soldotna runner Adam Reimer (right) and Lance Chilton.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Nadia Anders crosses the finish line of the women's 10-miler Saturday morning at the Run for the River in Soldotna.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Nadia Anders crosses the finish line of the women’s 10-miler Saturday morning at the Run for the River in Soldotna.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna runner Carl Kincaid (424) receives encouragement from a course worker in Saturday's men's 5K Run for the River race in Soldotna.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna runner Carl Kincaid (424) receives encouragement from a course worker in Saturday’s men’s 5K Run for the River race in Soldotna.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Hope Derkevorkian (121) shares a laugh with Kimberly Glidden in Saturday's Run for the River women's 5K race in Soldotna.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Hope Derkevorkian (121) shares a laugh with Kimberly Glidden in Saturday’s Run for the River women’s 5K race in Soldotna.

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