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RACE REPORT: Wannigan Days 5k in St. Croix Falls, WI

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of being able to be a part of the 1st Annual St. Croix Falls Wannigan Days 5k Running Event.  This was a first time event, spearheaded by the good folks at Bont Chiropractic as well as by Snap Fitness, both of St. Croix Falls.  While this is a first time event, the folks at Bont Chripractic are behind most of the running races in the St. Croix Falls area, such as the City of Trails 5k in the Spring, and the Autumn Fest race in early October.

My "job" as a volunteer was to be the pace vehicle, to ensure the leaders stayed on the race course.  This was a fantastic duty to have and gave me the best seat in the house, for what proved to be an epic battle at the front of the field.

The race course featured a gradual climb for roughly the first half of the race, from downtown St. Croix Falls to Interstate Park (WI).  Then, the course dropped down the massive hill into the north campground of Interstate Park.  From there, the runners ran up a steep gravel grade to the sidewalk along Hwy 8, for a sustained climb to Washington Street in St. Croix Falls.  Once on Washington St, the racers had just under a 1k sprint to the finish line.

As you can see from the photo slide show above, Tony Meyers of St. Croix Falls, in the yellow singlet dominated the start and got off to a commanding lead.  However, once the race dropped into Interstate Park, the flying 18 year old from Webster, WI Jack Taylor (wearing the black singlet in the images) closed the roughly 35 second gap on the leader to within 5 seconds or so.  Jack absolutely flew down this hill, using some of his fresh Cross Country descending skills.  On the final climb along Highway 8 (see the slide show), Jack surged and passed the Tony.  Once on the final stretch of Washington Street, Jack continued to push to the limit until across the line with a time of 16:18, 13 seconds ahead of Tony.  This was a truly impressive effort, timed to perfection by Jack.  Congrats to both of these gentlemen!

The taste of victory is still fresh on Jack Taylor's face, seconds after winning the Wannigan Days 5k!
In a post race conversation I had with Jack, he modestly commented on how he "loves the hills, going both up and down them".  This love of the hills was evident at Wannigan Days!

Unfortunately, as I was out in front of the lead men, I didn't get to see what was happening in the ladies race.  However, two local ladies (Tammy Braund of St. Croix Falls Heather Meyers-Wimer of Dresser) did light up the course with blazing fast times of 19:28 and 20:44 respectively .  Congratulations to both of them!

Overall, the event was very well attended and executed for a first year event, and promises to have a bright future on the running race circuit.  Officially, 126 people finished the 5k race with an estimated 30+ kids running in the kids race.

Thank you and congratulations to all race particpants - and a special thanks to the folks at Bont Chiropractic and Snap Fitness that made this great event happen!

1 comment:

  1. St. Croix Falls is the best place to run. I would have loved to run but knee is acting up. I look forward to taking you on some of my favorite St. croix runs