(All photos by Mom, Jackie Weintraub unless otherwise noted)
It is hard to believe the 9th Annual Run Flagstaff Summer Series is in the books as the 36th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Dave McKay Memorial Half Marathon closed out the Series in a most memorable fashion. On the course two battles raged between close friends; Michelle Wesson kept a shadow’s length behind Sara Wagner as she has done all summer long, and Chris Gomez stayed on Jason Wolfe’s heels throughout the epic race.
(John Lowe photo)
In the end, Wolfe’s 1:17.56 and Wagner’s 1:32.52 (a new personal best on the course) gave them the overall BBBSF titles. Flagstaff’s extraordinary ultra-marathoner and distance coach Ian Torrence’s 1:30.32 gave him his first Master’s division title at any race! On the women’s side, Kristina Saxton took her first BBBSF Master’s title in 1:44.12. In the 5K, all the way from Heimbach, Germany, 45 year-old Krischer Siegfried smoked the 5K in a record 15.05. On the women’s side Dayna Guerro from Magdalena, New Mexico won easily in 19.54. Jack Welch once again led 31 walkers who successfully ambled across Observatory Mesa, taking in all the scenery the course offers.
About a dozen kids dashed through the downtown streets with David McKee leaving the last place honors to Margot Saltonstall.
At the Half Marathon’s infamous halfway aid and cup voting aid station, runners overwhelming cast their vote for restoring Pluto’s status as a planet!
(David Blanchard Photo)
While the race was notable for the duos that went toe to toe across the stunning landscape, it was most memorable for the grandeur at the start finish line. Once again, couples have a penchant for celebrating their love at the Big Brothers Big Sisters race. Kristi and David Bluestein were back celebrating the 4th anniversary of when they got married prior to the race in 2009; David as always wearing his sparkling red wig and Kristi with her huge smile.
The biggest moment came when Emily Rufo crossed the finish line to be greeted by her closest friends and family, and her boyfriend who proposed! I am pleased to report the answer was “Yes” and Emily is now happily engaged!
The race was also a triumphant celebration of the return of Kay McKay, co-founder of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff in 1967. The race is now named in the memory of her late husband and Kay perfectly fired off the starting gun for both races.
Special thanks to all the nearly 100 volunteers who came out in support of the race including the Coconino Amateur Radio Club, Grand Canyon Harley Davidson, all of our sponsors, and most of all the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Board many who have been involved with the race since its inception in 1978. For race results visit https://www.virtualroster.com/index.cfm?action=dspClientHome&clientid=73&showBanner=1 and for free downloadable photos, visit natra.org!
(David Blanchard Photo)Also, check out complete race coverage in the Arizona Daily Sun at http://azdailysun.com/sports/running/wolfe-wagner-win-half-marathon/article_6ef99694-024e-11e3-a08a-001a4bcf887a.html and be sure to mark August 9, 2014 on your calendars for the race’s 37th edition!
(David Blanchard Photo)