Kenny Wall Sweeps Again, Inaugural Atwood Races a Flint Mainstay

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Kenny Wall Sweeps Again, Inaugural Atwood Races a Flint Mainstay

The end of his college racing days meant more opportunity for Flushing’s Kenny Wall to toe the start line over the summer.

College coaches frown upon it when their runners race too often during the base-building phase for cross country season. Wall raced more frequently than most college runners during his time at Oakland University, but his schedule picked up considerably following his final track and field season this spring.

That included returning to the Atwood Stadium Race in Flint to run both the 5-kilometer and 10K races for the second year in a row. And, for the second consecutive year, Wall swept both races and picked up some extra hardware for having the best combined time in the popular Duo Medal-y, the brainchild of Atwood committee member Penny Jacques of Dryden.

Wall won the 5K in 15:29 based on chip time, though there was some question as to whether or not Scott Albaugh of Waterford nipped him at the line with a late charge.  There was no doubt in the 10K, as Wall won by a 1:09 margin over Albaugh with a
time of 33:14.

Wall had a combined time of 48:43 in the Duo, while Albaugh’s was 49:53. The next-fastest time was 57:51 by Donald Achey of Bancroft. Only four runners broke one hour.

In all, 269 runners and walkers finished both races (which started one hour apart), attracted to a large degree by the special finisher medal given to those who completed the Duo. Race organizers gave special trophies to the overall and masters winners in
the Duo. There were only six double-race finishers in a similar format for the final Tuuri in 2010.

There was a total of 1,138 finishers in the 5K and 10K, up from the 993 finishers who took part in the inaugural Atwood Stadium Race last year. The Atwood race replaced the Tuuri, which was discontinued after a 31-year run. About four miles of the Atwood 10K course was run on the old Tuuri course.

For Wall, the Atwood Stadium Race is part of his buildup for his first Crim 10-mile race since 2004 and his marathon debut in
Detroit on Oct. 21.

“I’ve always wanted to do one, but my coaches wouldn’t let me,” Wall said.

The two Atwood races are among the seven races Wall ran in a little more than two months since his track career ended. His first three races took place in blistering conditions, as he ran 1:15:59 in the Qualifier in Bay City on May 20, 16:19 in the Flushing Evening 5K on June 20 and 33:39 in the Volkslaufe 10K in Frankenmuth on July 4. He won the hilly Bastille Day 15K in Fenton on July 14. Wall won the Warrior Dash in Genesee Township by five seconds a week after Atwood.

“I’m excited to see where my training’s at,” Wall said.

Wall ran a road personal record in the 5K, pushed the entire race by Albaugh, the 2011 state Division 1 cross country champion from Waterford Mott. Wall had no idea if he or Albaugh broke the finish line first in a photo finish.

“It was really hard to tell,” Wall said. “I didn’t know who won, to be honest, so I had to look at the times at the end. We were just going back and forth the entire race. It was really fun, because I went out there wanting to try to go fast in that 5K. I’m so glad I had him there to push me.”

There were two different winners in the women’s 5K and 10K, with Angela Kasten of Lapeer posting the best combined time.

Kasten won the 5K in 21:19, finishing 21 seconds ahead of Cindy Kish of Grand Blanc. Although the women’s race wasn’t as tight as the men’s, Kasten ran with some uncertainty, as she got conflicting information about her position during the race.

“I pretty much had the lead by the half-mile mark, although I kept hearing people telling me that someone was ahead of me,” Kasten said. “A few people told me I was second, but most people told me I was first. That was pretty confusing. I didn’t know until the finish that I was actually first.”

After running her second-fastest 5K ever, Kasten felt the effects during the 10K. She took third in the 10K in 46:13, placing third behind Grand Blanc’s Sherrie Teeple (41:04) and Flushing’s Kathy Snyder (45:00), both of whom ran only one race. Kasten estimated that she ran about four minutes slower than usual in the 10K.

“It was not good,” Kasten said. “My calves were cramped up. I was definitely much better in the first one than the second one.”

Kasten won the Duo by more than two minutes in 1:07:32. Wanda Handlin, 55, of Flushing was second in 1:09:50.

Unlike Wall, who was an All-Stater at Flushing High School and a Division I runner, Kasten didn’t begin running until after she graduated from Lapeer West High School.

“I picked it up afterward,” said Kasten, 26. “It was just for fitness. I always wanted to run track in high school, but I always had the belief that you had to be a runner already. I never realized you could start and they would teach you. So, that’s why I never did it. I always wanted to, because my dad was on his track team and my mom was always a runner. I’ve got horses. That was my
whole life, my horses.”

Overall honors in the walk Duo came down to a two-second margin, as Lynette Heinlein of Vassar had a combined time of 1:33:03, while Rick Huber of Montrose had a time of 1:33:05.

Heinlein won the 10K in 1:02:24. Johnny Olsen of Clio was the first male in 1:04:28.

Huber won the 5K walk in 28:36. Debbie Topham of Mayville was the first woman in 29:02.

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