FAIRBANKS — Keel Simon pointed to Tommy Dahill as how he paced himself on a flat, fast course to the overall title in the second Run from the Cops 5-kilometer race.
“This was my pacer right here, I tried to keep up with him,’’ said of Dahill, who was walking up to congratulate Simon after the race Saturday morning.
Said Dahill, “At the left turn, you had me beat. I knew it; I could hear you breathing.”
Simon, a 15-year-old West Valley High School sophomore, finished in 18 minutes, 33.41 seconds, and the 48-year-old Dahill, who was recently a teacher in Hughes, recorded a time of 18:43.08.
Andrea Plasky, a military police officer at Eielson Air Force Base, placed third and was the fastest woman in 20:53.26.
The race is a fund-raiser for Wish Upon the North Star . Last year’s Run from the Cops raised $5,000 for the organization that grants wishes to Alaskan children with life-threatening illnesses.
“It’s an opportunity for us to make a difference in kids’ lives and provide a positive experience,’’ said Fairbanks Police Lt. Eric Jewkes, co-director of the race with Brenda Geier, dispatch shift supervisor for the police department.
One hundred eighty entries started the race in front of the police headquarters on Ninth Avenue and Cushman Street. They gathered in front of a police car, and the vehicle’s occupant, Fairbanks Police Officer Andrew Adams, signaled the start of the race by turning on his siren.
Simon and Dahill broke away early from the pack and stayed close to each other throughout the course that moved down Cushman to First Avenue and then to the bike trail on Second Avenue. It proceeded to Wilbur Street and back to Second before heading to Wien Park next to the Noel Wien Library.
The course cut across the park to the intersection of Barnette Street and 10th Avenue for the final stretch to the police headquarters. Simon made his move on Dahill at the intersection.
“I tried to keep up with him as much as a I could, and at the finish there, I had something left so I could go,’’ said Simon, a cross country runner, track distance runner and hockey goaltender for West Valley.
Dahill mostly stayed in front of Simon during the race but he sensed that Simon was going to eventually pass him.
“I’d look behind and listen to his breathing, and watch his shadow,’’ said Dahill, “and his shoulders looked easy.
“I knew he had something left, and I was trying to break him without going anaerobic,’’ he added. “I knew he had the class to do that at the end.”
Plasky, a recent transfer from Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington, gained a second wind to help her take third and garner the women’s title.
The 26-year-old said she thought that she started out too fast in her first Run from the Cops.
“I was getting winded after the first mile and a half, ‘‘ she said, “but I figured it was a short race, so go all out.”
The race featured a costume contest. Paul and Laura Wayfield, dressed as prisoners, garnered the group award and Gillian Roberts, in a cat burglar’s outfit complete with a mask, was the individual winner.
Race results are listed on the Scoreboard on Page C2.
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