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Runners make their mark at Petersburg's first half-marathon


Orin Pierson / Petersburg Pilot

Racers and volunteers gathered for a photo in front of a shelter at Sandy Beach Park after the first-ever Rainforest Half Marathon on Monday.

Seventeen runners, including two teams of two, and four walkers participated in Petersburg's first ever Rainforest Run half marathon on Labor Day.

The sounding of a conch shell marked the start of the race as runners took off along the 13.1-mile course that wound through the eastern end of the island and ended at Sandy Beach Park. Runners followed tiled mile markers custom-made by Emil Tucker and Carin Christensen and received encouragement, along with water, from volunteers and supporters at aid stations along the route.

Organizer Joe Viechnicki said he hopes this year's race marks the start of an annual tradition.

"Hopefully it'll be an annual thing. We dream of making it a full marathon, too, maybe as soon as next year," Viechnicki said.

Justin Haley ran the prospective full-marathon course beginning near Scow Bay before the official start of the half-marathon. His unofficial marathon time was 3:42:00. He was the seventh place finisher over all with a half-marathon time of 1:41:44.

The first place women's finisher was Sara Crippen. Justin Anderson was the first place finisher overall and in the men's division. Crippen and Anderson and the final finisher of the race received homemade pies from the Muskeg Maleriers.

The profits from the event, an estimated $600, will go to the Petersburg High School cross country team.

Rainforest Run Results


1st-Justin Anderson 1:34:09

2nd-Brian Richards 1:36:30

3rd-Doug Riemer 1:36:40

4th-Keith Billie 1:37:08

5th-Ian Fleming 1:41:03

6th-Justin Haley 1:41:44

(Ran full marathon course/time for second half)

7th-Sara Crippen 1:43:28

(First female)

8th-Bani Bolanos 1:51:44

9th & 10th- Carin Christensen

and Emil Tucker 1:55:08

11th-Donna Marsh 1:58:31

12th-Rick Brock 2:07:39

13th- Linda Slaght 2:25:54

14th- Sandy Meeks 2:33:01

Orin Pierson

Top three finishers, (l-r) Brian Richard - 2nd place, Justin Anderson - 1st place, Doug Reimer - 3rd place, pose by the fire after the race.


George Clemens and Mary Clemens 2:09:19

Marlene Cushing and Sharon Hunter 2:09:19


1st & 2nd- Jo Ann Day

and Dino Brock 2:56:52

3rd-Tom Stathem 3:24:34

4th- Pam Speck 3:34:18


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