Eles and Abbott Win 47th Annual Canal Run Half Marathon | News, Sports, Jobs
HANCOCK — Stephen Eles won his sixth half marathon in the past decade on Saturday at the 47th annual Canal Race.
Eles took the win in the men’s division with a time of 1:15:41.1.
Kate Abbott won the women’s half marathon for the fourth time in the past decade with a time of 1:25:46.
Eles was a long-time director of media technology services at Michigan Tech before moving to Boulder, Colorado last summer.
“It was nice to be back here for the Canal Run,” Eles said. “The weather was nice, and it’s still a great course.”
Abbott, of Atlantic Mine, said her only complaint was that she was alone for most of the run, which started near McClain State Park.
“I think I was seven miles before I caught up with other runners or walkers,” she says. “However, the aid station volunteers suddenly became my biggest supporters.”
Abbott added that Saturday’s Canal Run was his first race of the season, not by choice, but rather due to illness earlier in the year.
“For about 12 weeks I was quite sick,” she says. It’s my comeback and I hope to get stronger. I want to do the Deer Chase (ATV race) in Swedetown in August.
Though no stranger to the Canal Run half marathon, MTU computer science professor Gowtham set a personal best with a third-place time of 1:32:43.0.
“It feels good” he said after crossing the finish line on his fifth straight Canal Run.
“The key was to have a plan and stick to it,” he said. “I am very grateful for all the support throughout the course of the race.”
Among the first-time runners was Emily Haynes. His motivations for participating in the half marathon race were geographic.
“I recently moved into a house on Canal Road (the race course),” she told. “So the idea of runners running past my house and me not being there seemed too weird.”
Haynes finished third overall in the women’s standings and said she will be back next year. As for that moment when she saw his house, she joked, “I have to admit I wanted to take a break and jump on my couch for a break.”
According to race director Angela Luskin of UP Health System-Portage, approximately 730 runners crossed the finish line in the various events, and they came from all over the United States, from Washington State to Washington DC.
“I am incredibly happy” she says. “The event went well. Everything went well and I am grateful to our community.
She said it’s equally important to the success of this mid-summer run that more than a hundred volunteers are needed each year to make it happen.
Tim Pinnow got his start as a Canal Run volunteer. Pinnow just started his new job as president of Finlandia University on July 1. He came to Hancock after serving as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Colorado Mesa University for many years, and he couldn’t be happier.
“It’s a big event,” he said. “It’s a wonderful community and a beautiful day. Everyone here has been so welcoming.
Not far away at the finish line, handing out the medals, was another volunteer, Peter Vorhes of Larium. The longtime Canal racer said he had to hang up his running shoes earlier this year and swap them for a bike.
“With a bad hip, I can’t run anymore, but you can’t take that racing spirit away from me,” he said with a smile. “I love this event. It’s a great course, and I’m doing what I can to push it forward.