Speed prevails in Fountain of Youth 5K

With the same names always winning local running races, the Fountain of Youth five-kilometer event at the Tsalteshi Trails is open to an unknown taking the victory.

The field is handicapped and seeded into 21 waves, with the (perceived) slowest going out first and the rest of the field following in 30-second intervals. The first wave is comprised of women age 63 and older and men 78 and older, and the final wave is just men ages 20 to 33.

Instead of an surprise winner, however, Wednesday’s race had a familiar face crossing the finish line, as 18-year-old Jonah Theisen of Kenai started nine and a half minutes behind the first wave and passed everyone to win. Theisen’s winning time was 27 minutes, 10.8 seconds, although in real time, he ran a 17:40.8.

John Mohorcich, 55, started in the 14th wave and finished second, about 80 seconds behind Theisen, but ranked fifth overall among the field. Theisen’s brother, Jordan, finished third, over 90 seconds behind Jonah, but actually ran the second-fastest time of the day with a 19:17.2.

In a bet to see who was fastest, Tsalteshi Trails Association board member Mike Crawford won out over Paul Ostrander, who was introduced on a prerace promotional poster as “father of superstar runners Taylor and Allie.”

In the races that the pair has run in this summer, the average time difference between them has been 59.5 seconds, and coincidentally, the race seedings spaced them apart by one minute, with Ostrander getting the advantage.

The friendly competition was also used as a fundraiser, as other runners were able to purchase $2 tickets on who they think would win the bet. By race time the two ticket jars set out on the tables near the start-finish area were close to even.

Ultimately, Crawford beat Ostrander to the finish line by 53 seconds to finish fifth, although in reality, he was 1:53 faster than Ostrander, who finished seventh.

“He ran my legs out from underneath me,” Ostrander remarked. “I’d like to say that I had the wrong strategy, but I think he was just a lot faster than me today.”

Ostrander said Crawford caught him at about 13 minutes into the race, at approximately the two-thirds mark.

“He was sandbagging the rest of the year,” Ostrander joked.

Crawford said the uphills around the Wolf loop favored him, since the course took a reverse route on the loop, which likewise reversed the hills.

“I thought if there were downhills, I’d never catch him,” Crawford said. “But that was a hot course on a really hot day, so maybe that was better for me.”

The top eight finishers all hailed from the 15th wave or higher, and all but three of the top 18 started in a double-digit wave number.

The race was also shortened to five kilometers, down from 10 kilometers in last year’s inaugural running, and the attendance was subsequently better, up from 44 racers last year to 92 this year.


Wednesday results

Fountain of Youth 5K

1. Jonah Theisen, 27:10.8; 2. John Mohorcich, 28:30.3; 3. Jordan Theisen, 28:47.3; 4. Carl Kincaid, 29:09.2; 5. Mike Crawford, 29:28.1; 6. John-Mark Pothast, 29:42.7; 7. Paul Ostrander, 30:21.4; 8. Zach Burns, 30:34.0; 9. Jane Fuerstenau, 30:42.8; 10. Kent Peterson, 31:02.1; 11. Ian Ashley, 31:16.5; 12. Roy Stuckey, 31:28.3; 13. Theresa Ostrander, 31:30.7; 14. Annie Burns, 31:32.5; 15. Patti Berkhahn, 31:37.7; 16. Mike Bergholtz, 31:40.2; 17. Hannah Pothast, 31:43.4; 18. John-Paul Dammeyer, 31:55.2; 19. Ellie Burns, 31:55.5; 20. Regina Theisen, 32:00.2; 21. John Roderick, 32:17.5; 22. Kevin Lauver, 32:35.7; 23. Terri Cowart, 32:39.6; 24. Dawson Lockwood, 32:50.7; 25. Jeff McDonald, 33:30.0; 26. Gina Gregoire, 33:34.1; 27. Alice Anderson, 33:43.8; 28. Scott Huff, 33:50.7; 29. Heather Schramm, 34:15.3; 30. Peter Ehrhardt, 34:37.1; 31. Isabella Dammeyer, 34:44.2; 32. Alex Bergholtz, 34:54.9; 33. David Martin, 35:04.7; 34. Ben Hanson, 35:05.4; 35. Angie Brennan, 35:18.4; 36. Emma-Clare Dammeyer, 35:32.9; 37. Doug Hogue, 35:41.9; 38. Dylan Hogue, 35:55.6; 39. John Hedges, 35:56.7; 40. Kaley Hunter, 36:02.0; 41. Rob Carson, 36:15.5; 42. Jamie Nelson, 36:28.7; 43. Maria Sweppy, 36:32.3; 44. Jack Maryott, 36:39.2; 45. Lanie Hughes, 36:43.8; 46. James Bennett, 36:46.6; 47. Marina Schramm, 37:09.5; 48. June Stuckey, 37:23.8; 49. Jayce Calvert, 37:48.8; 50. Ithaca Bergholtz, 37:49.1; 51. Paul Knight, 37:55.2; 52. Markie Shiflea, 38:26.6; 53. Dana Hunter, 38:44.5; 54. Dana McDonald, 38:59.1; 55. Malerie Nunn, 39:07.5; 56. Joseph Dammeyer, 39:17.9; 57. Sydney Thielke, 39:20.0; 58. Cassie Collins, 39:31.6; 59. Mitch Michaud, 39:38.8; 60. Kelly Holt, 39:42.3; 61. Charlene Spiers, 41:04.0; 62. Reean Pitts, 41:46.4; 63. Amy Hogue, 42:45.5; 64. Maria Dammeyer, 43:20.4; 65. Tony Oliver, 45:17.6; 66. Landen Showalter, 45:40.8; 67. Jen Showalter, 45:41.2; 68. David Martin Jr., 46:27.1; 69. Ethan Hogue, 47:03.3; 70. Carter Cannava, 47:03.6; 71. Robert Carson, 47:05.7; 72. Rinna Carson, 47:06.1; 73. Rosey Combs, 47:32.1; 74. Barbara Combs, 47:35.6; 75. Bobbi Lay, 47:43.6; 76. Julie Short, 49:03.3; 77. Karah Huff, 49:38.7; 78. Seane Oglesbee, 50:11.2; 79. Kate Swaby, 50:16.0; 80. Madison McDonald, 50:32.8; 81. Owen Huff, 51:57.5; 82. Audrey McDonald, 52:41.0; 83. Ariana Cannava, 53:08.2; 84. Katrina Cannava, 53:08.5; 85. Hailey Stonecipher, 53:33.8; 86. Sondra Stonecipher, 53:36.5; 87. Penny Furnish, 53:42.2; 88. Cheryl Brown, 54:00.4; 89. Judith Demers, 58:27.1; 90. Edward Demers, 1:00:03.7; 91. Sammy Roderick, 1:03:16.1; 92. Elizabeth Grace, 1:09:49.0.

More in Sports

Kenai Central’s Kylee Verkuilen races Nikiski for control of the ball during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai sweeps, shuts out Nikiski in Friday soccer games

Kenai girls and boys teams opened with early goals

Head coach Taylor Shaw (center) talks to the Kenai River Brown Bears during a timeout at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Season review: Brown Bears hope to build on solid finish to season

It’s not easy to finish a season in last place in a division, yet have plenty of reasons for optimism for the next season

Homer snow shuffles sports schedule

The Mariners were supposed to host Kenai Central in Thursday

A pair of Trumpeter Swans break through the thin ice in search of emergent vegetation at the Kenai River Flats with Mt. Redoubt in the background. (Photo courtesy T. Eskelin/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Has spring sprung?

I have always found the arrival of spring to be championed by the first sightings of geese at the Kenai and Kasilof Flats

Peninsula Piranhas win South Central Area Championships

The Peninsula Piranhas won the South Central Area Championships in Homer on… Continue reading

Lily Langham of Kenai Central High School and Brooklyn Larsen, Rylie Thompson and Ava Fabian of Soldotna High School, stand for a photo with their medals after competing in the USA Hockey National Championships as part of the Alaska All Stars 19U Division 2A hockey team. (photo provided)
Local skaters help Alaska All Stars to semis of national tourney

Four central Kenai Peninsula skaters were on the Alaska All Stars 19U… Continue reading

SoHi girls win distance medley relay at Big C Relays

A number of Kenai Peninsula athletes nabbed top-eight finishes at the Russ… Continue reading

Saturday: Brown Bears finish season with comeback victory in Fairbanks

The Kenai River Brown Bears finished their season with a 4-3 victory… Continue reading

Friday: Ice Dogs hold off Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 2-1 decision to the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Most Read