The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 23, 2010

Marathon notebook: Organizers expect larger field for 2011

Nearly 2,200 people registered for the inaugural Mankato Marathon before officials proclaimed it filled. Many more were turned away after that.

“Probably close to 1,000,” race director Mark Bongers said.

During the marathon’s initial planning stages, organizers were hoping to get about 1,000 runners for the marathon, half marathon and 10K. Bongers encouraged them to double that, and, as it turns out, they could have reached higher.

“It was well-marketed,” Bongers said, “and people are excited about it being an inaugural event.”

As for next year, it sounds like the plan is to reach higher, even if it means rearranging the course and the finish line in order to accommodate more runners.

Before the race started, rumors were circulating about a field of 6,000 runners for next year. Bongers didn’t shoot quite that high.

“We’re looking at a fairly large increase next year, double or better,” he said. “It might be (6,000), I don’t know. Maybe 4 or 5,000. We’ll see what happens. We have to sit down as a committee and with the city.”

Runners world

The race field broke down into about 1,050 half marathoners, 700 full marathoners, 370 10K runners and 30 four-person marathon relay teams.

Bongers said those numbers give him great hope for the future of the event.

“The really telling number is 700 marathoners for the first time,” he said.

By comparison, Bongers said, the Fargo Marathon had about 1,800 full marathoners, and Rochester had 400.

Fresh legs

Some observers couldn’t help but do a double take when they saw 6-year old Jaiden Landsom cross the 10K finish line with a time of 1:05.

Lisa Landsom, Jaiden’s mom, says her daughter was by far the youngest participant in Saturday’s event.

Jaiden, who began running a year ago said it’s simple — she runs because “I like to exercise.”

The youngest marathon runner was 15-year-old Austin Holmes of Green Bay, Wis. He finished in 4:34:09. Janesville native Kyle burgess, 17, finished in 4:20:07, and North Mankato’s Allison Helget, 18, ran the marathon in 3:50:48.

Relay winners

The top marathon relay team included Traci Schuch, Jodie Mogensen, Shawn Hartmann and Christie Rock-Hantge. The all-woman team had a time of 3:35:22.

The men’s team of Kevin Rodel, James Carsten, Patrick Herrley and Chad Massman finished in 3:41:01, followed by the team of Ken Dueis, Mark Krosch, Joe Alonzo and Ronald Meissner, who had a time of 3:44:26.

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