Suzanne Morris, left, and Melissa Anderson finish the Halloween Half Marathon on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

Suzanne Morris, left, and Melissa Anderson finish the Halloween Half Marathon on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

Miller, Kruger win scary Halloween Half

Gentemann, Tracy top costumes; Janes 5K winner

Shawn Miller, age 43, topped the field in the 2023 Halloween Half Marathon on Saturday, covering the 13.1 miles from Pioneer Road along North Douglas Highway, up roughly one mile on Eaglecrest/Fish Creek Road and back in one hour 22 minutes and 57 seconds.

“The secret for this run was just to maintain a consistently hard effort,” Miller said. “And not try to fall down on the slippery spots… it would have been great to hit 1:20, which is what I did a few years ago, but I’ll take 1:22 considering I am still dealing with some injuries.”

Niki Kruger, 28, topped the female runners, and placed seventh overall, in 1:42:36.

“No stress,” Kruger replied when asked of her secret for the race. “I didn’t really prepare for it. Lots of carbs the night before (pasta and grilled cheese) is always good and a piece of toast in the morning.”

Miller led from start to finish, breaking away from the mass start of costumed ghoulies through the first mile and turning a quarter-mile lead over Klas Stolpe, 63, at the halfway point into a five-minute win over strong finisher Rick Becker, 68.

“Consistency, really,” Becker said of his lifetime commitment to running. “Consistency. You have got to get out every day. I don’t think I’ve missed a day of running this year since June.”

Juneau garbage bear Quinn Tracy, left, was runner up to ‘80s aerobic queen Christy Gentemann, right, for the Costume Contest win during the Halloween Half Marathon on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

Juneau garbage bear Quinn Tracy, left, was runner up to ‘80s aerobic queen Christy Gentemann, right, for the Costume Contest win during the Halloween Half Marathon on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

Becker, a former English teacher and high school running coach (12-time coach of the year) in Selah, Washington, has been running since the age of 16 and earned NAIA All-American honors at Eastern Washington University. In his 20s he set lifetime PRs of 14:27 in the 5,000m, 29:47 in the 10,000 meters, 1:05:00 half marathon and 2:24:00 marathon. He has American Age Group records (including a 16:14.55 over 5K at age 55), and won World Masters Track and Field races. He has won the National Masters Indoor (age 60-69) 3K 10:11.03 and the USATF National Club Cross Championships (60-up) 8K in 28:58. He was selected to the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 2022.

“Just be consistent,” he said. “And however fast you want to train, well back off a little bit at this age. If you train too hard obviously you’re going to flirt with disaster. If I think I should run this fast for a workout, I’ll try and back off a little bit of that and go a little bit slower…and the Halloween colors probably really helped.”

The top 10 chase group finishers on Saturday included Becker placing second in 1:28:54, followed by Stolpe 1:29:18; John Bursell, 59, 1:34:50; Harry Coutu, 17, 1:35:57; Quinn Tracy, 43, 1:41:56; Kruger; Luke Taintor, 36, 1:43:27; Eric Antrim, 50, 1:44:27 and Andrzej Piotrowski, 45, 1:44:52.

Kimberly Valverde, 36, was the second-place woman, and 11th overall, in 1:52:19 and Becky Bohrer was the third woman, and 13th overall in 1:55:50.

“I was just driven to do my best,” Valverde said. “And have fun. And my daughter (Isla) got out and paced me for a little bit and that was really exciting. I was excited to see them at the finish line.”

The top three men and women earned podium ribbons.

Ribbons were also given to Finn Peterson, 1, for fastest in a stroller; Elliott Peters, 9, for first 5K race and fastest under age 10; and Coutu for fastest half marathon under age 18.

Sage Janes, 16, won the 5K race in 0:19:20. Rounding out the top five were Randy Peterson, 38, 0:21:40; top female Bailey Nero, 26, 0:24:03; second place female Jessica Jefferys, 38, 0:26:45 and third place male Daniel Thornton, 44, 0:26:58.

The top costume prize went to Christy Gentemann, 34, who finished the half marathon 18th overall in 2:03:24 dressed as an ‘80s aerobics instructor. Tracy was runner-up in the costume contest, covering his race outing dressed as a Juneau garbage bear.

Race director Hollis Handler thanked volunteers Brian McTague, Becky Bohrer, Jack Kreinheder, Amy Carroll and Tara Parks.

Halloween Half Marathon Results (name, age, sex, time):

1. Shawn Miller, 43, M, 1:22:57; 2. Rick Becker, 68, M, 1:28:54; 3. Klas Stolpe, 63, M, 1:29:18; 4. John Bursell, 59, M, 1:34:50; 5. Harry Coutu, 17, M, 1:35:57; 6. Quinn Tracy, 43, M, 1:41:56; 7. Niki Kruger, 28, F, 1:42:36; 8. Luke Taintor, 36, M, 1:43:27; 9. Eric Antrim, 50, M, 1:44:27; 10. Andrzej Piotrowski, 45, M, 1:44:52; 11. Kimberly Valverde, 36, F, 1:52:19; 12. Roel Mangaccat, 48, M, 1:54:54; 13. Becky Bohrer, 45, F, 1:55:50; 14. Marnita Coenraad, 35, F, 1:57:25;

15. Matt Leither, 35, M, 1:58:17; 16. Hannah Bailey, 27, F, 1:59:01; 17. Danielle Dunivin, 33, F, 2:01:45; 18. Christy Gentemann, 34, F, 2:03:24; 19. Heather Parker, 37, F, 2:06:13; 20. Christiaan Collier, 39, M, 2:07:06; 21. Bridget LaPenter, 41, F, 2:07:45; 22. Kaili Nielsen, 40, F, 2:08:58; 23. Disney Williams, 33, F, 2:09:15; 24. Erica Roguska, 36, F, 2:11:04; 25. Clara Ferguson, 15, F, 2:12:53; 26-Tie. Melissa Anderson, 47, F, & Suzanne Morris, 39, F, 2:14:10; 28. Kristen Strom, 26, F, 2:17:13; 29. Keegan Jackson, 40, F, 2:19:03; 30-Tie. Bailey Roguska, 16, F, & Acey Wall, 16, F, 2:21:43; 32. Jamie Bursell, 60, F, 2:22:56; 33. Craig Thorsteinson, 13, M, 2:32:47; 34. Kirk Thorsteinson, 44, M, 2:35:50; 35-Tie. Amy Carroll, 56, F, & Sylvia Kreel, 57, F, 2:36:44; 37-Tie. Tiffany Ridle, 41, F, & Lacey Sanders, 40, F, 3:08:14; 39. Kristine Loveid, 57, F, 3:26:00; DNS Jude Jones, 14, M; DNS Jennifer Loesch, 41, F; DNS Marissa Obrien, 28, F.

Halloween 5K Results:

1. Sage Janes, 16, M, 0:19:20; 2. Randy Peterson, 38, M, 0:21:40; 3. Bailey Nero, 26, F, 0:24:03; 4. Jessica Jefferys, 38, F, 0:26:45; 5. Daniel Thornton, 44, M, 0:26:58; 6. Finn Peterson, 1, M, 0:27:13; 7. April Rezendes, 38, F, 0:27:14; 8. Greg Bolshakoff, 22, M, 0:27:24; 9. Ally Bratlie, 26, F, 0:27:38; 10. Kristin McTague, 51, F, 0:28:24; 11. Ashlynn Kay, 28, NB, 0:29:53; 12. Mark Kanarek, 25, M, 0:30:02; 13. Jonathan Dundore, 21, M, 0:30:39; 14. Sevyn Jefferys, 12, F, 0:31:27; 15. Matthew Jefferys, 39, M, 0:31:28; 16. Tamala Booton, 53, F, 0:34:57; 17-Tie. Jeannette Lacey, 47, F, & Susie Norvell, 63, F, 0:35:50; 19. Elliott Peters, 9, M, 0:35:52; 20. Christie Adams, 28, F, 0:36:42; 21. Susie Mckee, 30, F, 0:38:13; 22-Tie. Sam Hobbs, 47, M, & Alyssa Hobbs, 45, F, 0:39:41; 24. Joe Dundore, 22, M, 0:42:18; 25. Ed Johns, 76, M, 0:44:47; 26-Tie. Guy Crockroft, 63, M, & Doug Edwards, 64, M, 0:49:49; 28-Tie. Jeff Gnass, 76, M, & Linda Kruger, 72, F, 0:55:59.

More photos from the 2023 Halloween Half Marathon/5K

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe for the Juneau Empire)

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