NISSWA — Pat Russell of St. Paul won the fifth annual Run for the Lakes marathon Saturday in Nisswa with a time of 2:35, five minutes faster than last year’s winner and Russells’ good friend Casey Miller.
Miller won the race the previous three years.
“I wasn’t going to try and run all out today and it was more of a workout type so it’s a little more enjoyable,” said Russell. “I feel bad because I didn’t want it to be like I was stealing the win, but (Miller) was just having a bad day and was struggling.”
Russell, who is preparing for an ultra-marathon in June, got turned on to the Run for the Lakes by Miller.
“I’ve been up here before, but never run this course before,” said Russell. “The course is beautiful. I’m used to running in St. Paul which is a great urban area but it feels more wide open and free running here.”
And from the beautiful cool weather to the spectator support, the conditions couldn’t have been better for Russell.
“Having that relay, and the aid stations there and people in cheering zones was really good support,” said Russell. “It’s always good when you don’t have to go too long without seeing another person.”
Now that Russell has had a taste of the Brainerd Lakes he’s hooked.
“I’d like to come back and do this event again,” he said.
Melissa Jansen of St. Cloud was the top female finisher. She crossed the line in 3:16.24 to lead the pack of 22 women.
There were 105 runners in the marathon. The Half marathon had 261 runners with Victor-Hugo Sanchez of Minneapolis winning in 1:16.29. Michelle Andres of East Gull Lake was the top female in 1:22.22 and placed fifth overall.
Brainerd’s Eric Carder won the 10-kilometer in 39:29. Jennifer Imsande of Pequot Lakes was the top female and finished third overall in 40:02.
Blitz Fusse, which consisted of Jordan Kleist, Connor Gunsbury, Matthew Majerle and Taylor Schloemer, won the relay marathon in 3:04.26.
For complete race results visit www.runforthelakes.com.
506 Photos for viewing or purchase on spotted.brainerddispatch.com .