Four seconds is a close finish for a 10-kilometre race. It’s even closer for a 10-mile race.
The tiny span of four seconds was all that separated the top-two finishers of the Chocolate Claim Pre-Skagway 10 Miler, starting and ending in Rotary Park on Sunday.
Whitehorse’s Logan Boehmer won the race for his first time, outpacing past winner Ryan Leef, with a time of one hour and 49 seconds.
The two were shoulder to shoulder for the entire race until Boehmer gapped Leef with about 400 metres to go.
“Ryan Leef paced me the entire time, we battled it out and it was a good time,” said Boehmer. “I felt good about the run today. I was lucky enough to run with someone because it would have been a tough run alone.”
Boehmer, 21, recently represented Yukon in athletics at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., where he placed 17th in the 5,000-metre.
Leef, who is Yukon’s member of Parliament, had a feeling the race would be decided in the final stretch, he said.
“Logan obviously did really well at the Canada Summer Games this year, so it was nice for me to be able to keep up with that kind of elite talent here in the territory,” said Leef. “We were shoulder to shoulder and I knew when we crossed the Miles Canyon bridge at five miles, it was going to be a sprint to the finish … When we got into the final kilometre, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep with him when he stepped it into gear and he sure did in the last 400 metres and was able to pull away.”
Leef, who regularly breaks the three-hour mark in marathons, completed the first leg of his Border to Border Challenge campaign to raise awareness of diabetes last month. The 39-year-old ran from Eagle Plains south through Yukon communities to the B.C. border, spanning about 1,200 kilometres in 20 days. He plans to complete similar runs over the next two summers.
“I think the 10-mile was a good compromise for the two of us,” said Leef. “He’s certainly prepared for the shorter stuff in the 5,000(-metre). I’m more of a marathoner. So I don’t think either one of us had a particular advantage.”
While the men’s race featured a tight finish, the women’s was quite the opposite.
Cambridge, Ontario’s Lindsay Carson completed the race in 1:02:24, more than 13 minutes ahead of women’s second place Amelia Fraser, and third overall behind Boehmer and Leef.
Her time is the fastest women’s time for the race in Athletics Yukon’s records, which are missing a few years.
“I’m new to the area; I’ve just been here for around a month now visiting my parents, who also recently moved here,” said Carson. “I’m here running but also looking for work.”
Carson took 60th in the senior women’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships this past March in Poland. She placed fourth in the 5,000-metre at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Muncton, N.B., this June.
She was also the top female – and second overall – in the half distance of the Yukon River trail Marathon earlier this month.
The 2012 men’s and women’s winners, Ray Sabo and Lauren Whyte, were absent from the 10-mile run on Sunday, which had 30 runners participate despite wet conditions.
The Chocolate Claim Pre-Skagway 10 Miler is considered the warm-up event for the Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay held annually in September.
Boehmer is set to run for Scarecrow, a Whitehorse team that has won the 176.5-kilometre relay race from Skagway to Whitehorse the last three years.
“It’s my first year, so I’m pretty excited to be on the team,” said Boehmer.
1st Logan Boehmer – 1:00:49
2nd Ryan Leef – 1:00:53
3rd Dominic Bradford – 1:03:03
4th Scott Williams – 1:05:43
5th Tedd Tucker – 1:08:06
1st Lindsay Carson – 1:02:24
2nd Amelia Fraser – 1:15:53
3rd Anett Kralisch – 1:16:21
4th Helen Stappers – 1:20:11
5th Julia Gerlach – 1:21:16
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org