Ben Garbe and I both made the Blarney Run in Wauwatosa our first race of the 2012 running season.
We had somewhat different results.
Garbe, 22, beat a former Wisconsin Lutheran High School teammate for the overall win. I edged Scott Schuster up the finishing hill for second place in the always-tough, men’s 45-49 division, 29th overall.
Garbe finished in 16:35. I was more than five minutes back, in 21:42. (Click here for the results).
It was well-off my best for the 5K distance, but gives me a nice baseline to build on for the season.
Garbe, who now lives in Rhinelander, is training for the U.S. Cellcom Green Bay Marathon and returned to his home town to test his legs and reconnect with Jon Fink. They ran together at Wisconsin Lutheran, and ahead of the pack through the Underwood Parkway on Saturday morning.
The former Vikings traded the lead into the strong south wind, then separated down the stretch.
Marek Kotrly, 40, of Brookfield, was third, with a 17:05.
The women’s race was dominated by masters. Jennifer Schweinert, 44, of Brookfield, won the race in 21:13, and Corinne McFadden, 54, of Waterford, was second, in 22:01.
In its 21st year, the Blarney Run is nearly as old as its winner and showed equal promise.
Runners keep pace with seasonal headgear. Photo by Tom Held
Race director Jeff Roznowski put the number of registered runners and walkers around 1,100, possibly a record for the event. He was certain the contribution to the Wauwatosa Historical Society would exceed $20,000, also approaching a record.
Roznowski credited the mild winter and sunny day for helping boost the turnout. His race has other attributes: a fun course, relaxed atmosphere, and low entry fee, $22 right up to the start.
Racing with folks in variations of Irish regalia was a good test of my fitness and my fashion sense. At the last minute, I remembered to put on a green jersey.
Runners show a spirited effort in the home stretch. Photo by Tom Held
Fun mixes with intensity in the younger age groups. Photo by Tom Held