St. Mary grad pulls off rare feat, wins two races minutes apart
The 18-year-old Maple City runner and St. Mary graduate won the two mile race that started at 9 a.m. in 12 minutes and 19 seconds.
After a quick breather, the former track and cross country standout went out and captured the 10K event in 38:59. It was almost four minutes faster than his 10K effort last year in the American Cancer Society fundraiser.
“There wasn’t really a whole lot of competition in the two mile so I kind of saved myself a little,” said Korson, who led the 28 other runners from start to finish on the out and back shorter course. “It really felt like a warm-up.”
Korson said he didn’t plan on winning two plaques, especially after falling behind at the 10K start.
“My intent was to be competitive ... and get a nice eight mile workout,” he said. “I was just going to run my pace.
“But then all the guys in front of me, about five of them, turned to do the 5K and I was in first.”
Korson was first among 24 participants in the 10K. Theresa Martin, 26, of Rochester was second in 40:38.
Andrew Schmalz of Cincinnati was third overall in 42:15. Lake Leelanau’s Karen Kirt was fourth overall, second among women in 42:35.
Northport’s Ben Cook, 31, was fifth overall, in 43:51. Leland’s Fred Heslop was also among the top 10. He finished seventh in 47:59.
Korson said he thought the number of participants — 114 finishers in all three races — was down a bit.
“I think because of the threat of rain and the race wasn’t as close to the Fourth as it used to be, there weren’t a whole lot of runners there,” Korson said.
Gladwin’s Scott Hayden was second in the two mile event in 12:50. Northport’s Marcus Stowe was also among the top 10 in the two mile. He was sixth overall in 16:30.14.
Sara Allen, 44, of Ada was the top woman in 18:41. Northport’s Lily Ackerman was second among women in 18:54. She was 14th overall.
Maple City’s Alex Finnegan, 21, won the 5K foot race in 19:35. Chris Palcios, 15, of Wavconda, Ill. took second in 20:59.15. Lake Leelanau’s Jeff Ragains, 44, was third (21:15).
Northport’s Kerigan Riley, 17, was the women’s winner. She ran a 21:43.17. She was fourth overall.
Northport’s Doug Wyatt, 50, rounded out the top 10. He was 10th in 23:57. There were 61 finishers in the 5K race.
George Anderson, who was one of the race organizers along with Kent VanErnst and Scott Walker, said the rain and some confusion with the race being run after the Fourth of July may have had an impact on reduced participation.
Still Anderson was pleased with the funds raised.
“We netted $3,300,” Anderson said. “And on average, we’ve raised $3,500 for 33 years.
“That’s a lot of money.”
Anderson said the race was a “cosmopolitan” one, drawing runners from various states like Massachusetts, Kansas, Illinois and Arizona.
For Korson, the Run for Funds is just one of many races he plans on competing in this summer.
His ultimate goal is the run a Half Ironman — a 1.2 mile swim, 57 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run — in August before heading off to Wayne State University.
Last month, he ran the Solstice Half Marathon — 13.1 miles — in Glen Arbor and was seventh overall.
“It was pretty cool. I enjoyed it a lot (13.1 miles), but the hills were crazy,” he noted. “It’s a really fun course, but it’s never going to be a fast course. Going up Inspiration Point slows you down a lot.”
Korson, who ran cross country for St. Mary and track for the Suttons Bay co-op team, said the track season really has got him in shape for the summer runs.
“Track season really helped to build the base,” he said. “The speed is what I got from track.
“Now I’m working on putting more miles.”
And he’ll throw in a few more competitive road races.
“I love racing, it’s a lot of fun and I’m going to do as many as I can,” he said. “There is one in Leelanau County just about every other weekend.”