Kroll claims 5K title
If Sunday's Lansing DAZE 5K run was viewed strictly as a competition, Allan Kroll smoked the field.
By completing the race in just over 17 minutes, the 2004 Lansing High graduate crossed the finish line before anyone else even reached the home stretch.
"My old high school teammate, Jon Garrett, won this last year, and I wanted to come out and test him a little bit," Kroll said.
Kroll did much more than test his good friend, and even though Garrett came in second place, he said he never had a chance of outrunning Kroll.
"He came out to embarrass me," Garrett joked. "I need to get in to running again, maybe I can give him a race next year."
Kroll said he was well prepared for the 5K, as he ran all year for Johnson County Community College.
Another JCCC runner and Lansing High alumna, Cassie Blankenship, who was the first female to finish the course, joined him in the winner's circle.
She said she hadn't run competitively since early May, but by finishing fourth overall, she duplicated her performance from a year ago.
"I tried to go hard up the hills and coast down the hills," she said. "It was tougher on me this year, though - I'm a little out of shape."
Though Kroll and Blankenship received awards for their accomplishments, only a handful of runners were competing for prizes.
The majority of the field was simply in it for fun.
Several people jogged with their friends, others walked, and some even pushed or pulled their children along the way.
Jennifer Werner, Kim Watkins and Lori Chambers were the last people to complete the race, crossing the finish line nearly an hour after Kroll did.
The trio was all smiles, though, as each walked the course while lugging their children behind them in wagons.
"I'm just glad we finished," Werner said. "The hills were killers."
During the award ceremony, they joked that they deserved something for hauling the most weight.