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Area runners compete in Grandma's Marathon races

Dan Pike has always wanted to run a marathon.

Saturday's Grandma's Marathon at Duluth provided the perfect opportunity as the 24-year-old from Park Rapids completed his first marathon in 3 hours, 50 minutes, 30 seconds.

"I've always wanted to do one and I always wanted to run the Duluth marathon," said Pike. "I heard it was fun and I knew my cousin was going to be there, so I decided to train for it."

Pike's cousin Aaron Pike took first in the 30-racer wheelchair division with a time of 1:29:02. Dan Pike was happy just finishing while fulfilling his main goal.

"It went pretty well. Everything was going well until mile 21. That's when I hit the wall. After that all I was thinking about was finishing. I had to alternate running and walking the rest of the way, but I beat my goal of going under 4 hours," said Pike, who started training for this race in February. "Someone asked me after the race if this was my first marathon. I told them this was my first and maybe my last. Who knows. Maybe I'll be talked into running another one some day."

Several other area runners competed in Saturday's Grandma's Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Four other runners with local ties completed the 26.2-mile course.

Summer Ellefson (24) completed the race in 3:30:45 while Julie Kelly (31) of Park Rapids crossed the finish line in 3:37.59. Tom Juberian and Laura Juberian, who reside in Park Rapids and Oakdale, were among the 3,507 men and 2,932 women who also ran the full marathon. Tom Juberian (27) finished in 3:55:03 while Laura Juberian (27) finished in 4:25:50 in her first marathon.

Elisha Borno of Sante Fe, New Mexico, won the men's title for the third year in a row with a time of 2:12:06 while Hellen Jepkurgat of Grand Prairie, Texas, claimed the women's title in 2:32:09.

There were 15 local runners who ran in the 13.1-mile half marathon.

That group featured Kerry Johnson (52) of Park Rapids in 1:59:19, Greg Larson (70) of Park Rapids and Missy Stears (37) of Osage in 2:01:00, Ryan Paulouski (29) of Park Rapids in 2:07:12, Jolene Harris (34) of Nevis in 2:11:40, Tara Wolff (42) of Nevis in 2:22:00, Kailey Ihrke (22) of Laporte in 2:27:53, Michele Ihrke (53) of Laporte in 2:28:01, Amie Hoverson (41) of Park Rapids in 2:28:12, Elizabeth Stone (43) of Park Rapids in 2:32:33, Dustie Bakke (39) of Menahga in 2:40:14, Heather Hafner (36) of Park Rapids in 2:55:01, Tina Monroe (43) of Akeley in 2:59:43, Shannah Geimer (43) of Akeley in 2:59:44, and Erika Randall (38) of Park Rapids in 3:03:45.

Evans Kurui of Grand Prairie, Texas, led the field in the half marathon with a winning time of 1:03:05 while Biruktayit Degefa of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the women's champion in 1:11:25. There were 2,630 men and 4,703 women who completed the half marathon.