Annual River Run races promote fitness and fun ... and the scenery is pretty good too
Although there were thunderstorms in the forecast, the sun came out just as the Cloquet River Run 5K race was about to start Saturday.
"Phew," said Holly Peterson, race organizer. "It was still a hot and muggy run for people, but it was a successful day."
It was certainly a great day for the overall 5K winner, Sam Jacobson of Cloquet, who led for most of the race and finished in 19:27.
Jacobson is two-for-two this month.
"I'd never won a race until the Blue House 11K on Labor Day and now this one, so it's been a little crazy," said Jacobson.
The top five 5K finishers ran the gamut agewise. Jacobson is 30, while second-place finisher, eighth-grader Sam Buytaert, is 14. Ken Ripp, 52, took third, and 13-year-old Jack McWilliams took fourth. Fifth place went to Jason Dian, 32.
The women's 5K winner was Stephanie Wisniewski, 31, followed by 12-year-old Macava Smith.
Eight-year-old Brahm Snesrud won the 1-mile race in 6:30. The top female finisher was Lauren Hughes, age 9, in 6:53, and sixth place overall.
Churchill Principal Dave Wangen (who took 20th place in the 5K race) told Cloquet School Board members Monday that the race was hot, but lots of fun, noting there are also children's races and a mascot race to add to the festivities.
"We really appreciate all the parent volunteers and folks who put on the River Run," Wangen said.
Peterson said the race raised more than $10,000 in sponsorship funds, but didn't have final numbers. Organized by the Churchill Partners in Education group, 70 percent of race proceeds go toward health and fitness-related programs and equipment and 30 percent for school technology maintenance.
PHOTOS BY JANA PETERSON AND HOLLY PETERSON
TEXT BY JANA PETERSON