The River teamed with runners Saturday, April 30, some on foot and others by water. Prehistoric Lake Sturgeon, almost shark like, rolled and tail splashed along the banks of CTH X, while performing their ritual signaling the end or their hard fought spawning run.
Visitors from all over the state were on hand to witness the annual rite of spring.
Some even brought along their running shoes for the first annual Wolf River Healthcare Foundation Sturgeon Shuffle.
Both the fish and runners had to work extra hard Saturday along the Wolf River Sturgeon Trail, which served as part of the course for both the 10K run and 5K walk/run.
Gail force winds picked up as the day progressed and runners faced a relentless head wind as they traveled Eastward to the finish at New London Middle School. In many ways the fish and runners shared their workout on Saturday. Strong currents and higher than normal water levels, one can imagine, gave the fish a bit more of a workout as well.
Over fifty runners competed along the scenic 10K course with dozens of others showing up to walk or jog in the 5K and 2 mile family events.
Two New London high school alumni and former cross country legends burned through the course with amazing times, despite the wind.
Nick Schaefer, a 2006 NLHS grad crossed the finish line first with a time of 34:52. Schaefer is a senior at UW-Stevens Point majoring in Mathematics.
He enjoyed the course and reports he saw sturgeon during the run as he passed alongside the trail. As far as racing goes, he said the wind was a factor. “The way out wasn’t bad at all,” reported Schaefer. “But on the way back it felt like the wind was going to bring me to a complete stop a few times,” he said.
Not far behind Schaefer was Vince Temu of Appleton. Temu crossed the line second overall with a time of 35:26 to win the men’s 40-49 division. Next was Bret Ruch of New London who won the men’s 50-59 division with his overall third place finish of 40:47.
The first female runner to cross the finish line was New London Cross Country legend Kristy (Koplien) Fauske, NLHS class of 1994, with an incredible time of 41:23. Fauske and her husband Ben said they enjoyed the event and were happy to make the trip back to their hometown. The couple and their children live in Sherwood, Wisconsin.
Sarah Petnoiak of Green Bay was the second female to cross the finish line with a time of 45:30. New London’s Blaire Laughlin was third with a time of 48:15. Jackie Butkovich of New London finished third overall in the female division with a time of 54:07.
Theda Care/New London Family Medical Center won the coveted Team Participation Trophy for having the most participants registered from a single organization.
Awards were given to the top finishers in each age group for the 10K race.
Male and Female winners by age group
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 1 – 18
1-20-110 Julie Favorite 17 51:43
2-27-122 Lauren Lawson 17 54:22
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 19 – 29
1-14-121 Blaire Laughlin 20 48:15
2-32-140 Sara Stenz 20 57:27
3-37-132 Rebecca Piper 20 58:36
MALE AGE GROUP: 19 – 29
1-1-134 Nick Schaefer 20 34:53
2-6-148 Tom Fitzmaurice 19 42:54
3-8-146 Drew Kock 19 45:01
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 30 – 39
1-4-109 Kristy Fauske 35 41:23
2-9-153 Sarah Petoniak 30 45:30
3-25-104 Jackie Butkovich 35 54:07
MALE AGE GROUP: 30 – 39
1-10-136 Thomas Schaer 35 45:53
2-11-157 Jay Daly 35 47:38
3-28-137 Mike Schmaling 35 55:11
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 40 – 49
1-29-129 Sheila Mroczynski 45 55:32
2-42-116 Hazel Hoier 45 1:05:31
3-45-124 Kristy LeNoble 45 1:08:53
MALE AGE GROUP: 40 – 49
1-2-151 Vince Temu 40 35:26
2-5-154 Jeff Csuy 40 41:45
3-7-152 Bruce Scheller 40 43:04
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 50 – 59
1-38-126 Darlene Maus 55 59:03
2-41-155 Julie Southard 50 1:02:19
MALE AGE GROUP: 50 – 59
1-3-133 Bret Ruch 55 40:57
2-12-111 Robert Goodine 55 47:48
3-15-156 Barry Paulson 50 49:39
MALE AGE GROUP: 60 – 69
1-18-112 Terry Gorges 65 50:55
2-33-128 Martin Moeller 65 58:16
3-36-101 Richard Bowden 65 58:31