By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
A year ago, St. James native Brian Christiansen ran the Mankato Marathon 10K race and finished second. On Sunday he ran again and finished first going away.
“I wanted to come back and try to win it this year,” Christiansen said. “I’ve been doing some shorter races like some 4 and 5Ks and I was pretty confident coming in.”
Most of Sunday’s race was competed with temperatures in the 45 to 50-degree range amid partly cloudy but dry weather. It made for excellent running conditions.
“The 10K is a nice distance for me; I really like it,” Christiansen said. “The temperature was perfect today.”
Christiansen, 22, also ran competitively at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. His goal Sunday was to better his time from last year and to stay with the lead pack at the start of the race.
“I clocked myself at 33:37, which is about a minute-and-a-half faster than I ran last year,” said the distance man, who was sporting his old school St. James running tank top. “I was trying to run faster as the race progressed.”
Christiansen said he started getting some separation between the 2 and 3-mile mark and then just let it out down the stretch.
He still lives in Storm Lake where he is finishing up his degree in elementary education. He knows exactly what he wants to do upon graduation.
“I want to be a teacher and a coach,” he said. “That would be my dream job.
Former Mankato East cross country standout Ryan Erdman, 19, was the second overall finisher with a time of 34:45. Morcelli Kombo, 18, of St. Cloud finished third among men in 35:27.
Tom Woo, 53, of Rochester finished fourth (37:29) and former Mankatoan Dave Lyon, 50, of Schofield, Wis., was fifth (37:51).