Homer High runners finish first in Spit Run

Eighteen-year old Pedro Ochoa, a 2014 Homer High School graduate who was on the school’s cross country and track team, ran to first place in Saturday’s “10K to the Bay” Homer Spit Run. Ochoa finished in a time of 0:36:18.13.

Claiming first place for the women was Molly Mitchell, a Homer High junior who also ran on the school’s cross country and track team. Mitchell crossed the finish line in 0:40:51.14.

Congratulating Ochoa at the finish line was the Bill Steyer, coach of the high school team and race director. After recovering from a week-long sickness, Ochoa said he started running again the Sunday before the race. 

“I just wanted to have fun,” said Ochoa after finishing. He said he was pacing slowly in the beginning, maintaining second place, but then brought up the speed closer to the finish line. 

“I am happy because my family is here,” said Ochoa, who has placed third in the Spit Run for the last two consecutive years. Next year he plans on running with the University of Alaska Anchorage cross country team.

In 2013, Mitchell triple-tied for first place with friends Aurora Waclawski and Barea Hirsch, but said she ran faster this year. Also part of Homer High’s cross country and track teams, Mitchell said she felt encouraged seeing her coach, Steyer, during the race. 

“I knew he would be here because he is coordinating the race,” she said. “It makes a big difference if someone is there at different points of the race. It reminds me to keep pacing myself and to try to hit what I am shooting for.”

Sunny weather and mild wind graced participants of the annual event which was sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Running Club, the city of Homer Parks and Recreation, South Peninsula Hospital and the Homer News.

The 10-kilometer competition attracted local and visiting runners, joggers and walkers who started at the Homer High School, raced through town and out to the end of the Homer Spit where they were greeted at the finish line by an enthusiastic crowd.

The Homer Spit Run not only attracted local participants but also those new to Homer.

Second-place finisher Andrew Kirk of Virginia was visiting his brother in Anchorage before they decided to drive to Homer early that Saturday in time for the race. Kirk, who had never previously been to Homer, said his favorite part of the race was seeing the view of the ocean and mountains unfold as he ran.

Kirk said he hasn’t been running lately due to being busy with his recent graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University. The Spit Run was a way to “scratch the racing itch,” he said. He finished with a time of 0:37:48,26.

“I was going to be happy with anything under 38 minutes,” said Kirk.

Second-place female finisher was Soldotna resident and incoming high school senior Sadie Fox, with a time of 0:43:16,66. Fox completed the event before going across the bay with her family later in the day.

“I like that (the Spit Run) is flat, and it has a nice view,” she said.

If there was an award for the most patriotic runner’s outfit, Peggy Leonard would have won it. She raced in an American flag cloth tophat and wore a red, white and blue tutu while she held a pinwheel usually seen at a Fourth of July parade. Leonard is an active race-goer and likes to pair her events with extravagant outfits and tutus because it inspires her.

“I will never do this again though,” Leonard said pointing at her top hat, which she said was too hot. “It’s all about fun. I don’t do times.” 

As runners and walkers arrived at the finish line, most joined the relaxed celebration on the Land’s End deck. Athletes and their supporting friends and family chatted with their tableside neighbors about the great weather, listened for their number to be called during the drawing of door prizes and snacked on a well-earned meal.

New to the race this year was an automatic timing system. Electronic chips embedded in racing bibs recorded racing times as runners passed the finish line. The Kachemak Bay Running Club’s new system delighted veteran timekeeper Randy Wiest, the club’s vice president.

Wiest described his nightmare experience after last year’s manually timed Migration Run.

“I spent three hours tearing my hair out and looking at the numbers, trying to figure out which printed time went with each racer,” he said. 

The new program also provided online finishing times for athletes 20 minutes after they crossed the finish line.

 “People could look up their race times with their smart phone, instead of having to look at the printed list,” Wiest said.

Along with the new timing technology, the Spit Run had a large digital clock on display. All proceeds from the race go to the running club’s youth running programs and educational clinics.

Homer Spit Run racing times and more information on Kachemak Bay Running Club’s future events can be found on their website kachemakbayrunningclub.org.

Shannon Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.

Homer Spit Run 10K Results

Male 9 and under

1.Ethan Styvar1:10:13.44

2.Thatcher Lowney1:19:19.69

Male 10-14

1.Jacob Davis0:40:17.47

2.Denver Waclawski0:43:02.88

3.Juan Sarmiento0:47:17.73

4.Jamie Sullivan0:50:41.43

5.Luke Clutts0:57:55.39

6.Cole Norcross1:09:33.70

7.Owen Pitzman1:18:59.88

8.John Clutts1:28:21.11

Male 15-19

1.Pedro Ochoa0:36:18.13

2.Cole Johnson0:39:19.68

3.Connor Mccarron0:39:52.32

4.Keegan Grellner0:49:41.29

5.August Kilcher0:53:11.41

6.Dylan Palmer0:58:05.35

7.Foster Clark1:35:20.07

8.James Gillas1:56:27.29

Male 20-24

1.Brock Paige0:51:49.56

2.Dylan Cook0:53:20.43

3.Tyler Haas0:56:41.84

4.Devin Geiger1:04:49.62

Male 25-29

1.Andrew Kirk0:37:48.26

2.Sam Kirk0:42:55.31

3.Colby Tucker0:43:51.07

4.Chris Sands0:44:57.04

Male 30-34

1.Beau Wood0:40:20.91

2.Travis Peltier0:41:16.88

3.Nick Bicandi0:42:37.96

4.Matthew Burns0:44:05.85

5.Joe Bell0:53:01.07

6.Mike Cordingley0:53:16.01

7.Donnie Maxon0:56:56.89

8.Corry Thomas0:59:00.83

9.Jake Sanders1:01:09.38

Male 35-39

1.Carl Seger0:38:32.54

2.Christopher Walker0:43:22.40

3.Andrei Tsygmenko0:45:41.14

4.Brent Adcox0:59:21.31

Male 40-44

1.Kent Peterson0:42:42.91

2.Bill Taylor0:49:24.34

3.Mike Illg0:50:12.20

4.Rich Holschen0:56:25.18

5.Jason Craig0:58:10.27

6.Jesse Clutts1:04:25.83

7.Eric Waltenbaugh1:31:09.73

Male 45-49

1.Brian Dean0:43:05.78

2.Greg Lincoln0:45:54.56

3.Andy Nielsen0:49:15.28

4.Philip Alderfer0:49:15.72

5.Rich Sullivan0:50:44.44

6.Lee Allman1:02:26.90

7.Keith Grellner1:13:41.59

8.Jason Clark1:48:54.85

Male 50-54

1.Andy Haas0:41:29.12

2.John Anderson0:56:41.56

3.Deland Anderson1:09:07.54

4.Jon Buenetxea1:28:51.72

Male 55-59

1.Lance Williamson0:42:07.75

2.Kenton Bloom0:52:25.07

Male 60-64

1.Randy Wiest0:46:06.94

2.Peter Courtrage0:47:34.66

3.Bud Johnson0:48:16.65

4.Jim Krein0:56:29.66

5.David Norcross1:15:23.95

Male 65-69

1.Ralph Broshes0:55:37.79

2.John Chapple0:58:31.27

3.Atz Kilcher1:06:50.76

4.Bob Norberg1:23:06.44

5.William Sharp1:38:39.70

Male 70-74

1.Timothy Middleton0:56:37.74

2.Bernard Griffard1:34:24.93

Female 9 and under

1.Ireland Styvar1:10:13.36

2.Kate Donelley1:20:32.84

3.Lauren Donnelley1:23:04.83

4.Lanie Nehren1:48:54.75

Female 10-14



3.Jalee Martushev0:56:13.77

4.Sarah Wolf0:56:13.83

5.Katie Davis0:56:13.88

6.Myla Kahn1:11:41.35

Female 15-19

1.Molly Mitchell0:40:51.14

2.Sadie Fox0:43:16.66

3.Megan Pitzman0:45:50.26

4.Lauren Kuhns0:51:21.71

5.Josephine Jones0:59:19.68

6.Brennan Evarts1:00:28.16

7.Rosemary Reynolds1:02:13.67

8.Hope Hudson1:04:49.87

9.Sofi Grellner1:13:41.79

Female 20-24

1.Olivia Jacobs0:47:29.86

2.Katie Jensen0:50:06.05

3.Edrei Evarts0:53:20.51

4.Sadie Arneson0:54:25.13

5.Lauren Mogan0:54:33.72

6.Grace Harrison0:55:48.48

7.Emma James0:56:42.14

8.Kelsey Waldorf0:58:54.12

9.Stephanie Reynolds1:01:03.05

10.Natalee Finley1:05:26.92

11.Macy Marquez1:16:44.83

12.Krystle Lincoln1:25:29.13

13.Camila Paulino1:41:47.37

Female 25-29

1.Andrea Sands0:44:56.66

2.Kayla Spaan0:47:54.70

3.Amanda Strittmatter0:49:54.19

4.Nichole Dojka0:50:41.35

5.Maddie Olaire0:56:38.35

6.Megan Peltier0:57:47.01

7.Shay Hill1:01:11.13

8.Brianne Steed1:01:24.48

9.Lindsey Wilson1:01:24.54

10.Maureen Todd1:11:38.72

11.Erin Thomson1:15:16.80

12.Julie Thomas1:15:27.12

13.Chelsea Sandoval1:15:35.03

14.Rory Tanner1:16:32.59

15.Kari Odden1:17:00.31

16.Katir Britton1:42:14.91

Female 30-34

1.Rachel Allmendinger0:55:39.34

2.Hanni Schwiesow0:56:37.63

3.Stephanie Anderson0:57:24.31

4.Elysha Chapple0:58:32.48

5.Sommer Adcox0:58:50.40

6.Shelly Abell0:59:22.11

7.Kimberly Tornow1:00:55.66

8.Allasan Stewart1:04:46.18

9.Elise Spofford1:05:26.46

10.Amanda Miotke1:06:18.19

11.Erin Neisinger1:07:20.08

12.Brie Wallace1:11:38.12

13.Cascen Ostrander1:15:41.92

14.Francisca Clow1:38:39.83

Female 35-39

1.Brooke Dudley0:47:34.25

2.Hillary Seger0:50:40.47

3.Amy Blackwell0:58:21.50

4.Cheryl Illg0:59:08.32

5.Cynthia Detrow1:00:55.26

6.Ori Badajos1:01:02.64

7.Dana McDonald1:02:01.33

8.Mary Tobey1:02:44.63

9.Lindsay Wood1:05:54.01

10.Amy Alderfer1:06:18.79

11.Julie Craig1:10:54.68

12.Sarah Richardson1:33:46.60

13.Keri-Ann Baker1:33:52.30

Female 40-44

1.Fran Evarts0:50:15.58

2.Sarah O’Malley0:53:53.71

3.Joell Slade-House0:54:06.19

4.Lenka Sudhard0:55:37.45

5.Elizabeth Bella0:55:51.62

6.Aunnie Steward0:56:15.58

7.Keri Syth0:57:11.10

8.Jennifer Waltenbaugh0:58:32.28

9.Ingrid Harrold1:01:02.99

10.Alica Ogrean1:02:02.09

11.Lynne Cotton1:07:24.43

12.Kiirsten Styvar1:10:13.36

13.Heather Rothenberger1:10:48.53

14.Sue Dranchak1:22:41.28

15.Christine Griffard1:33:39.68

Female 45-49

1.Sue Mauger0:53:12.80

2.Annie Allman0:58:15.69

3.Catriona Lowe0:59:08.20

4.Lynn Grellner1:03:27.28

5.Melissa Jacobsen1:06:12.99

6.Laura Paige1:08:10.65

7.Kimberly Walters1:11:14.98

8.Bessie Lincoln-Nocross 1:15:23.80

9.Jennifer Schademan1:18:27.08

10.Pilar Roy1:28:51.76

11.Rama Flyum1:36:39.31

12.Kimberly Stillwell1:37:51.68

13.kirsten newby1:37:53.29

14.Billie Rae Gillas1:57:09.77

15.Kathryn Dean1:57:52.72

16.Michelle Torres1:57:53.22

Female 50-54

1.Heather Johnson0:48:39.36

2.Jennifer Olendorff0:54:33.51

3.Judith Steyer0:57:17.10

4.Janet Arneson0:58:17.69

5.Tara Schmidt0:59:36.78

6.Tracy Kalytiak1:05:52.55

7.Christine Anderson1:09:07.38

8.Tracey Tillion1:09:38.52

9.Janet Mullen1:20:47.74

10.Ashley Leonard1:47:06.54

11.Loretta Englishbee1:57:24.57

Female 55-59

1.Mary Ann Renkert0:53:47.85

2.Bridget Kuhns1:03:38.20

3.Polly Prindle-Hess1:04:17.01

4.Suzanne Seguela1:07:34.18

5.Toni Maury1:09:38.00

6.Peggy Leonard1:12:31.99

7.Deb Lowney1:16:45.99

Female 60-64

1.Patrice Parker0:53:38.93

2.Sarah Kleedehn0:53:58.81

3.Maria Sweppy1:10:24.06

4.Barb Scalzi1:19:20.35

5.Joyce Turkington1:22:06.22

6.Diane Little Eagle1:40:36.33

Female 65-69

1.Linda Yost1:26:08.37

2.Peggy Chapple1:31:07.93

3.Flo Larson1:39:09.73

Female 70-74

1.Tami Greenwell1:28:29.71

Female 75+

1.Nancy Davis1:39:09.07

2.Rieta Walker1:41:36.93

-Photo by Heather Ericson

-Photo by Heather Ericson

Molly Mitchell is the first female to cross the finish line with a time of 40:51.-Photo by Heather Ericson

Molly Mitchell is the first female to cross the finish line with a time of 40:51.-Photo by Heather Ericson

Peggy Leonard dresses up for the festivities of the Homer Spit Run on Saturday. -Photo by Heather Ericson

Peggy Leonard dresses up for the festivities of the Homer Spit Run on Saturday. -Photo by Heather Ericson