The high humidity and rains that left puddles on the Carson Park blacktop affected the runners in the Buckshot Run 2-mile race, but it didn’t slow down Andrew Pathos and Mandi Risler.
Both improved on last year’s times en route to winning the male and female races on Saturday at Carson Park.
The course sent the 291 runners up East Half Moon Drive past the Paul Bunyan Camp, putting the first portion of the race — and most of the first mile — up hill.
“A couple of tough hills,” Pathos said.
Pathos, a junior at Elk Mound, was part of the Mounders conference-winning 3,200-meter relay and ran in the 3,200 at sectionals. Pathos’ goal going into the run was to be sub-11:10. Pathos’ ran a 5:33 first mile which meant he had to match that in the second mile to hit that mark. That also meant a good finish.
“On the last stretch right before you turn the corner, It’s hard, but you have to push through it,” Pathos said.
Push through it he did. It drove Pathos to an 11:09 finish, a 19-second improvement from last year.
Pathos runs on the Elk Mound cross country team and is coming off a 10th-place finish Thursday at the St. Croix Central Invite and was slightly feeling the affects of the season while mixing this race into his season. He did not accept his prize so he didn’t violate any WIAA rules.
Wausau East grad and 23-year-old Jase Meyer was the runner-up with an 11:19 and won the 17-28 age-group title. The L-T sports department’s own Nick Erickson placed third and 52-year-old Randy Aumann and Kyle Dekan rounded out the top five.
Eleva native Risler took the title in the 153 participant women’s race with a 12:57. Risler is in a different situation than Pathos.
“It was my first race back after having a baby,” she said.
Risler had a baby five months ago and ran a race that has become a tradition for her and her family. Her 8- and 10-year-old sons Bennett and Blake also ran in the 2-mile race. Her husband Randy ran the 5-mile and was sixth in the 40-50 age group.
The newborn became part of Risler’s workout in preparation for the race.
“Pushing the stroller,” she said. “Just getting back out there and just doing 4 to 5 miles at a time and a little bit of track work.”
That work paid off as Risler improved her time from last year by 50 seconds after finishing at 13:47 in 2017.
Chippewa Falls’ Nikki Bowe was second, followed by Jody Oechsle, Rebecca Hornby and Susan Rud.