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Ryan McCracken photo
Ryan McCracken photo
Elk Point solo runner Dave McNamara closes out the final leg of the Iron Horse Mini on Saturday afternoon while his son Heath jogs alongside for morale.
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Iron Horse Mini sees plenty of local activity

Jun 03, 2014 12:30 pm | By Ryan McCracken | St. Paul Journal

Forty-five runners stepped onto the Iron Horse Trail for the Iron Horse Mini, a 32 km run aimed at raising interest for the Iron Horse Ultra 100 in the fall while kicking off the annual outdoor running season.

“We're just trying to get a lot of different people in to start the season and get people aware that we have our Ultra coming up in October,” said Melanie Poulin, an event organizer. “We've talked to a few people today and they think it's a friendly race and they're telling us it's well run.”

Thirty-five of the runners are from the St. Paul and Elk Point areas. 

“If they start now and they're looking at their running training, I think they usually have about 16 weeks to build up to an ultra, or half an ultra, or whatever their goal is. So if they catch the bug by doing one piece of it, or half of it of 32 km, then they might consider doing a leg of the ultra, which is anywhere from 17 to 30 km.”

Elk Point's Dave McNamara was the only local competitor to take on the Iron Horse Mini as a soloist, but he wasn't alone when he reached the home stretch, as his son Heath ran out to meet him and jogged him in the rest of the way.

“It was awesome, it was a really great feeling,” he said, adding that finishing the race alongside his son was the best part of the day. “That's a big accomplishment for me.”

McNamara added he has been a member of relay teams for the Iron Horse Ultra 100 in the past, and runs on a regular basis in the hopes of gradually increasing the distance he can cover.

“This is the longest I've ever run,” he said, adding the weather was pretty good for the long trek down the Iron Horse Trail. “It was pretty warm but it wasn't too bad. Every now and then there was a cloud and some wind so it wasn't too bad. Better than the cold.”

The race also saw a team of junior high school students from Elk Point and Vermilion take on the trek. Garret Kinaschuk started off the day for the Young Runs team while Courtney Bielech, MacKenzie Evans and Tessa Pindroch ran their portions of the relay wearing bright pink tutus.

“It was a good temperature,” said Kinaschuk, who opted not to run in a tutu. “I'd rather run in the morning because it's not so hot.”

Spruce Grove's Angelica Arar made the trip out to St. Paul to take on the Iron Horse Mini, an event she found when researching the Iron Horse Ultra 100.

“I'm actually somewhat of a newer runner, I only started about a year and a half ago . . . I have hopes to do the 100 in the fall,” she said. “I was online looking for distances longer than marathons and I came across (the Iron Horse Ultra 100). It's not in the mountains or anything so it looks like a good first one.”

Arar added she was taken back by the scenery along the trail, and even had to stop to take in the sights from time to time.

“It was awesome, I'd love to do it again,” she said. “It's just beautiful out here. I stopped a couple of times just to kind of look around.”

Soloists

Dave McNamara – 4:11:07

Shane Mascarin – 2:45:48

Adam French: 2:42:59

Mia Atienza – 3:41:14

Angelica Arar – 3:47:40

Lori Wolinski – 2:46:22

Byron Schmuland – 5:30:32

Giseon Heo – 5:30:48

Teams

Ambiguous Duo – 3:41:05

Hell on Wheels – 2:47:35

Just Run - 3:44:18

Kshaw – 2:40:50

Run! – 3:34:16

The Hawks – 3:03:10

The Honey Badgers – 2:50:19

Trail Pounders – 3:25:33

The Young Runs – 4:35:36

Chaffing the Dream – 2:38:15

Chaffing the Dream – 2:38:15

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