CHIPPEWA FALLS — There was a race Saturday morning. Brent Kann showed up.
The Rice Lake native and Eau Claire resident blew through the field to win the Frigid 8 eight-mile race by more than four minutes in the Indianhead Track Club’s 48th annual event on a course from the west side of the city.
“I like running,” the 31-year old former Blugolds All-American said. “I do it for fun and fitness.”
Running by himself through the countryside, he posted a time of 43 minutes, 19 seconds, besting runner-up Sean Craker of Bloomer, who was well back in 47:12.
Lisa Tavares of Colfax was a repeat winner among women, while Stanley’s Adam Smit and Westby’s Becca Maxwell were the Thermal 3 three-mile winners.
A field of 175 runners took part in ideal conditions with temperatures nearing 40 degrees under sunny skies.
It was Kann’s third Frigid 8 win, and he bettered his winning times from 2011 and 2014.
“Now I’m ready for snow,” he said. “I’m still biking outside, but I’ll do the Birkebeiner and other ski races and some snowshoeing.”
Rounding out the top five were Chippewa Falls’ Joseph Thaler (47:36), Osseo’s Ken Ellingsen (49:40) and last year’s winner, Cornell’s Isaac Bohaty (50:31).
Tavares, 12th overall, also bettered her time of a year ago, finishing in 52:29 in comparison to her time of 54:28 in 2016.
“It was a little challenging going out into the wind,” the 38-year-old Menomonie native said. “But we had a tail wind coming back and God gave me the strength to continue.”
She finished comfortably ahead of Chippewa Falls’ Sarah Schemenauer, who was second in 55:09.
“It was a beautiful day and I felt good,” said Tavares, an All-Midwest runner at UW-River Falls who holds a 3:06 marathon PR.
Rounding out the top five were Eau Claire runners Jennifer Reeves, Catherine Lee and Miciah Mills.
Smit and Maxwell battled for the lead in the three-mile, with Smit pulling away to win in 18:54 with Maxwell following in 19:09. Maxwell placed eighth overall in the eight-mile a year ago.
They were followed by runners-up Aaron Eddens of Minneapolis (19:33) and Sabrina Hagstrom of Eau Claire (20:09). Hagstrom won the event in 2015.