Enthusiastic participants in the 12th annual Pumpkin Run/Walk didn't let morning rain showers dampen the spirit and fun of the Oct. 24 event.
On an unseasonably warm morning, the large race field included 324 registered runners and walkers who participated in the Pumpkin Run/Walk 5K Race held at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet. The race featured first-time Pumpkin Run winners in both the overall men's division and the overall women's division, plus five age-group records were broken on a great morning for running.
Overall winner Jordan Koski of Superior won with a time of 16:31, upsetting six-time Pumpkin Run champion Eric Hartmark of Duluth who finished second in 16:42. David Hypponen of Duluth was third in 17:34, Edward Martin of Superior was fourth in 18:15, and 50-year-old Robert Daiss of Cloquet captured fifth place in 18:30.
A first-time Pumpkin Run champion was also crowned in the women's overall division, as 13-year old Harmony Tracy of Canyon crossed the finish line in 20:52 for the win, which also placed her ninth overall. Defending 2016 Pumpkin Run women's champion Samantha Anderson of Wrenshall was second in 22:31, followed by another former Pumpkin Run champion Amy Flessert of Superior in 23:36. Cloquet resident Gina Rockstad was fourth in 23:40, and another previous Pumpkin Run champion Chriss Dincau of Duluth was fifth in 23:41 in what proved to be a competitive women's field.
The five age-group records established this year include overall winners Jordan Koski in the men's 20-29 group and Harmony Tracy in the women's 14 and under group. Tracy previously held the record set when she was 11 years old. Brock Bjerke, age 15 of Hinckley, broke the men's 15-19 group record with a time of 19:03. Harry Cottrell of Hermantown, age 71, smashed the men's 70 and over group record by more than eight minutes with a time of 21:38. Marilyn Schnobrich of Duluth, age 76, set the record of 29:53 in the women's 70 and over group.
nother Pumpkin Run tradition is awarding medals to the fastest Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College students in the race.
FDLTCC students who were awarded medals for being the fastest were David Granholm of Cloquet in the men's division winner at 47:00, and Cheryl Dahl of Superior in the women's division at 39:59.
The Pumpkin Run course is certified by U.S. Track and Field and the results count for points in the annual Minnesota Runner of the Year standings.
Complete race results are available at www.gopherstateevents.com and a photo gallery is posted on the college Facebook page.