Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- John Klecker of Minnetonka followed his father's footsteps to win the 23rd Annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon on Saturday morning, despite it being his first big road race.
Klecker's Dad won the race in 1987, and now the 19-year-old can add the feat to his name too. Klecker finished at 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 19 seconds.
With his Dad in attendance, Klecker said it gave him some extra motivation while running.
“I was just kind of hoping to be on pace because I knew he was to be somewhere in that one mile or two mile to go mark yelling at me," Klecker said. "I kept checking my watch hoping I was on pace or else he’s going to tell me I need to get back on it.”
Brian Sames of Shakopee was the runner-up at 1:09.28 while the top Northland finisher was Duluth native Eric Hartmark who crossed at 1:10.48.
On the women's side, Mary Davies of Houston was the winner with a time of 1:11.7.
During parts of the race, Davies was challenging the top male runners before falling back. She said there's nothing like seeing the final stretch after running 13.1 miles.
“First I think you were just relieved to have finished and then you’re overwhelmed. It’s great to win and to break a tape especially with the crowd cheering you on. It makes a lot coming down those last few hundred meters.”
Margaret Landberg finished in second at 1:18.14, and Michelle Paxton was third with a time of 1:22.10.
Posted by Sarah Wheeler