FAIRBANKS — Not even a smattering of liquid sunshine could put a damper on the 32nd edition of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Midnight Sun Run.
Fairbanks’ Chris Eversman, who has finished in the top five on numerous occasions, finally was the leader of the pack of more than 3,800 registered participants, while Anchorage’s Katie Krehlik registered her second straight women’s victory and was the first costumed finisher in the 10-kilometer race from the University of Alaska Fairbanks to Pioneer Park.
The light sprinkle that fell during and after the race didn’t dampen the spirits of the thousands of partiers and spectators who lined the course, which runs through several subdivisions before reaching the finish line.
“It certainly didn’t dampen the partying that goes on during this race,” an elated Eversman said shortly after crossing the finish line in 34 minutes, 20.5 seconds.
“There were certainly plenty of barbecues and parties taking place,” Eversman said. “There was as much support as I’ve ever seen for this event.”
Krehlik said she had a blast along the way as she ran with former Alaska Anchorage teammates Christie Schmitz, of North Pole, and Bryn Haebe, of Anchorage, dressed as the Three Rivers.
Krehlik’s Veil represented the Yukon River, while Schmmitz was the Chena River and Haebe was the Knik River.
“There wasn’t as many squirt guns this year, but there was still a lot of cheering this year,” Krehlik said. “The best part was those guys playing the drums and the dog who was barking to the beat.”
Krehlik said she was surprised by her winning time of 38:03.1.
“I was really surprised to be almost under 38 minutes,” she said. “Maybe I should run every race in costume.”
Eversman, a former Eielson High School and Alaska Nanooks standout, led a host of local runners competing in the event, as nine of the top 10 finishers were from the Fairbanks area.
After coming close on many occasions, the 28-year-old Eversman was elated to be the first runner across the finish line.
“It was a great night to win it for the first time,” he said.
Eversman said he overtook former Lathrop standout Kyle Hanson just before the course went past the Boatel Bar and he was able to maintain the lead the rest of the way as Hanson finished 15 seconds back in 34:35.7.
“He (Hanson) put a little surge on at about mile two and I thought I would never see him again,” Eversman said. “Then I saw him look back a couple of times and I managed to overtake him just before the Boatel.”
Rounding out the top five were Fairbanks’ Devin McDowell in 35:06.8, Ester’s Erich Hoefler in 35:57.7 and Fairbanks Dylan Helms in 35:58.7.
Tenth-place finisher Thomas Girardot of West Point, New York, was the only top-10 finisher not from the Fairbanks area.
Roger Sayre, of Fairbanks, won the men’s 55-59 division with an impressive run of 36:35.2 to claim seventh-place overall.
The rest of the top 10 included Ivan Rybkin in sixth place (36:14.4), Joe Bue in eighth place (36:51.1) and Ti Donaldson in ninth place (37:06.3). Girardot crossed the line in 37:11.1.
Krehlik outlasted former West Valley and University of Arizona standout Molly Callahan to win the women’s event.
Callahan was 13 seconds off the pace in 38:16.1, while Schmitz finished third in 38:42.9.
“I got to run with Christie for a while, so that was a lot of fun,” Krehlik said. “I didn’t take the lead until there was a little more than a mile to go.
“I’m always surprised when I win,” she added.
Fairbanks runners Melanie Nussbaumer and Erika Burr rounded out the women’s top five in 39:45.9 and 41:06.5.
The next five women’s finishers were: Melissa Lewis, 41:14.3, Crystal Pitney, 41:57.2, Haebe in 42:13.2, Jenna DiFolco in 42:37.0 and Jenessa Adams in 42:37.9.
Complete results of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Midnight Sun Run will be published in the June 29 edition of the News-Miner.
Following are the top 20 men’s and women’s finishers.
1. KATIE KREHLIK, 38:03.1; 2. MOLLY CALLAHAN, 38:16.1; 3. CHRISTI SCHMITZ, 38:42.9; 4. MELANIE NUSSBAUMER, 39:45.9; 5. ERIKA BURR, 41:06.5; 6. MELISSA LEWIS, 41:14.3; 7. CRYSTAL PITNEY, 41:57.2; 8. BRYN HAEBE, 42:13.2; 9. JENNA DIFOLCO, 42:37.9; 10. JENESSA ADAMS, 43:00.6; 11. EMILY LINDLEY, 43:04.8; 12. LAURA JOHNSON, 43:22.0; 13. ANNA WORDEN, 43:25.4; 14. HELEN SUDKAMP-WALKER, 43:37.9; 15. SHEILA ELDRED, 43:51.4; 16. BETH ZIRBES, 43:52.5; 17. JANELLE WINSTON, 44:02.1;18. DORLI MCWAYNE-, 44:18.1; 19. LYNNE PETERSEN, 44:25.8; 20. JOY TINNES, 44:37.1;
1. CHRIS EVERSMAN, 34:20.5; 2. KYLE HANSON, 34:35.7; 3. DEVIN MCDOWELL, 35:06.8; 4. ERICH HOEFLER, 35:57.7; 5. DYLAN HELMS, 35:58.7; 6. IVAN RYBKIN, 36:14.4; 7. ROGER SAYRE, 36:35.2; 8. JOE BUE, 36:51.1; 9. TI DONALDSON, 37:08.4; 10. THOMAS GIRARDOT, 37:11.1; 11. BRADEN TIMPE, 37:13.7; 12. TUX
SEIMS, 37:28.9; 13. JESSE MAYO, 37:29.1; 14. MIKKO SAYRE, 37:40.8; 15. ERIC SUMNER, 37:49.3; 16. STEVE LEE, 37:59.7; 17. TYLER GIFFORD, 38:02.3; 18. MILES BOND, 38:03.7; 19. ANDREW BISHOP, 38:09.8; 20. DARYL BROWN, 38:27.8;