Josiah Swanson says he’s not interested in running a full marathon.
“Nah,” he said. “A half is about as far as I’ll go.”
In Mankato, Swanson runs a half marathon as well as anybody. On Sunday he won the Mankato Marathon’s half marathon for the second time, repeating as the race’s champion.
The 25-year-old former Minnesota State University track and cross country runner has also taken second and third in previous races.
He finished this year’s 13.1-mile route in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 11 seconds. He won last year's race in 1:12:33.
“I was a little slow today,” said Swanson, who now lives and works in Rochester. “It was a little windy out there but still a lot of fun. I just love the course, running around Indian Lake and Mount Kato. That’s where we trained a lot as a cross country team.”
Bart Johnson, 31, of Marshall took second with a time of 1:14:19. The rest of the top five included Daniel Gerber, 27, of Richfield (1:14:55); Kai Sill, 31, of Mankato (1:18:14); and Tom Cook, 33, of Austin (1:21:52).
Lana Wegner, 29, of Walters, Minnesota, won the women’s race. She was 12th overall with a time of 1:27:10, about 30 seconds faster than her previous personal record.
“I had a good person pushing me early,” Wegner said. “His name was Jason. I don’t know where he’s at. He left me behind. I told him, ‘You’re way faster than me. Keep going!’”
The only Jason to finish ahead of her was Jason Minnick, 44, of St. Louis Park. He finished in eighth place in 1:24:19.
Alyssa Breu, 28, of St. Paul was the second woman to finish. She had a time of 1:32:19 and was followed by Carmen Jaskulke, 41, of Granada (1:32:40); Amy Barnett, 26, of Mankato (1:33:51); and Amy Engnes, 45, of Bay City, Wisconsin (1:34:10).
Jaskulke is part of Wegner’s running group, a “support system” of five or six friends who have been training for different races.
“Well-deserved,” Jaskulke said of her friend’s win. “She worked so hard for this.”
The half marathon is the biggest of the races with nearly 1,300 finishers.
The finish line was a stream of high-fives, handshakes and hugs — and one marriage proposal.
Alex Zellmer of Mankato popped the question when he and his girlfriend, Hannah Whitington completed the course in a little under 3 hours. It was his second half marathon, her first.
Asked what their time was, Zellmer said: "It doesn't matter."