By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN - Kingsford's Jake Meeuwsen, running in only his second half marathon ever, held a lead for the first nine miles before experienced distance runner Amy Janeshek of Hancock decided to kick it up a notch.
Ron Deuter/The Daily News Photos
Race leaders Amy Janeshek (right) and Jake Meeuwsen run along picturesque Lake Antoine as they approach Mile 10 of the Iron Mountain Road and Trail Half Marathon Saturday morning. Janeshek, passing Meeuwsen just a few minutes earlier, expanded her lead during the final three miles.
"The young lady who won kicked my butt," Meeuwsen said. When she passed me, she passed me pretty fast. I didn't really slow down. She just picked it up and I couldn't keep up with her."
Passing Meeuwsen around Mile 9 as the runners exited the Fumee Lake portion of the race toward Lake Antoine, Janeshek expanded her lead over the final few miles and crossed the finish line in 1 hour 26 minutes and 2 seconds to win the second annual Iron Mountain Road and Trail Half Marathon.
"It was good for what I've been doing this summer," said Janeshek. "I was happy with my time, especially on this course. It's a tough course, with a lot of hills."
Janeshek, who has regularly competed in full marathons in the past, including Boston a few years ago, said she has been running shorter distance races this summer.
"I did a marathon in the spring," she said. "But I've been doing a lot of 10Ks and 10 milers. Usually I do a fall marathon, but I am not this year, so this a longer distance than I've been doing this fall."
Meeuwsen, with a finish-line kick, clocked 1:26.55. A former member of Kingsford High School's track and field team, Meeuwsen only ran a race of Saturday's 13.1-mile distance one other time in his life.
"She looked a lot smoother than me out there," he said of Janeshek. " I did a half a few years ago in the Fox Cities. My mom is a runner, so she kind of nudges me to come out here and do it with her."
Both rookies of the Iron Mountain Road and Trail Half Marathon were impressed with the course and setup of the event.
"I was happy to be able to make it out this year," Janeshek said. "It was nice, a nice variation of trail and road. First time I had been in the Fumee area was for the Lake Antoine Classic. Hard to believe I was born and raised here and I had never been back there. It's really nice in there. No porcupines this time. There was a porcupine when we did the Lake Antoine run."
Meeuwsen said the hills at the end of the course as the runners come up Iron Mountain Street toward the finish were a challenge.
"I wasn't a big fan of those," he said. "But it was nice, a great course. The woods were awesome, gave us nice shade. They really did a terrific job of setting it up. There was never a question of where to go, which I think is always difficult if you don't run the course ahead of time. They really laid it out well. They had people and water stationed well. It was really put on well."
And despite getting passed, Meeuwsen was more than satisfied with his finish.
"I'll take it," he said. "She deserved it."
Janeshek, also a Kingsford graduate, said she plans to return next year to defend her title.
"Absolutely," she said. "It's nice to come home."
The race attracted nearly 150 runners, with another 150 taking part in the Millie Hill Mini-thon 2-mile run/walk. Male runners occupied the remainder of the Top 10 behind Janeshek and Meeuwsen. Iron Mountain's Drew Richmond (1:29.05) an Dan Wentarmini (1:31.00) were third and fourth overall. John Sytniak of St. Paul, Minn., was fifth in 1:32.02.
Kevin Socia (1:33.22) and Steve Orchard (1:34.31), both of Kingsford, took sixth and seventh. Eighth went to Jake Wetsel (1:35.48) of Vulcan, and Kevin Moses (1:35.50) of Dunbar, Wis., was ninth. Iron Mountain's Melissa Wentarmini (1:35.57) was the second place female finisher, and 10th overall.
Mikhal Roell and Grace Wentarmini, both of Iron Mountain were the boy and girl winners of the mini-thon.
Iron Mountain Road and Trail
Saturday, Sept. 14
FEMALE -1, Amy Janeshek, Hancock, 1:26:02.4; 2, Melissa Wentarmini, Iron Mountain, 1:35:57.8; 3, Kristi Olson, Norway, 1:37:50.7; 4, Sara Holsworth-Trevillian, Iron Mountain, 1:38:15.9; 5, Jamie Hardgrove, Milwaukee, Wis., 1:39:20.4; 6, Melissa Johnson, Sun Prairie, Wis., 1:40:38.6; 7, Julie Aderhold, Suamico, Wis., 1:42:10.6; 8, Rebecca Steinbrecher, Iron Mountain, 1:42:34.3; 9, Kristen Sleik, Clarksville, Tenn. 1:43:36.8; 10, Jill Richard, Garden, 1:45:32.4.
11, Susan Grondin, Iron Mountain, 1:46:02.9; 12, Cindy Noble, Marquette, 1:46:43.6; 13, Michelle Scott, Iron Mountain, 1:48:15.8; 14, Kati Mead, Marquette, 1:48:54.5; 15, Juliegh Bookout, Macomb, 1:48:56.9; 16, Nancy Krusic, Manistique, 1:49:11.0; 17, Elina Maki, Quinnesec, 1:49:17.4; 18, Shanna Veale, Iron Mountain, 1:49:40.4; 19, Ashley Leisner, Marquette, 1:50:50.5; 20, Lisa Thiry, Norway, 1:51:50.9.
MALE -1, Jake Meeuwsen, Kingsford, 1:26:55.1; 2, Drew Richmond, Iron Mountain, 1:29:05.7; 3, Dan Wentarmini, Iron Mountain, 1:31:00.3; 4, John Sytniak, St Paul, Minn., 1:32:02.9; 5, Kevin Socia, Kingsford, 1:33:22.8; 6, Steve Orchard, Kingsford, 1:34:31.2; 7, Jake Wetsel, Vulcan, 1:35:48.2; 8, Kevin Moses, Dunbar, Wis., 1:35:50.4; 9, Chris Hebert, Norway, 1:38:52.2; 10, Matthew Pipp, Iron Mountain, 1:38:58.1.
11, Daniel Pipp, Kingsford, 1:39:55.5; 12, Fred Jacobs, Iron River, 1:40:19.4; 13, Bryan Price, Kingsford, 1:40:44.1; 14, Mark Skog, Norway, 1:41:33.0; 15, Tony Cousineau, Felch, 1:42:03.1; 16, Jason Duelge, Iron Mountain, 1:43:11.7; 17, Jonathan Ringel, Iron Mountain, 1:44:56.9; 18, Travis Poupore, Green Bay, Wis., 1:45:04.5; 19, Bill Scott, Rosemount, Minn., 1:45:43.0; 20, Dennis Karttunen, Marquette, 1:45:45.4.
Millie Hill Mini-thon
FEMALE -1, Grace Wentarmini, Iron Mountain, 0:16:31.1; 2, Rylee Palmer, Iron Mountain, 0:17:48.7; 3, Kerry Janquart, De Pere, Wis., 0:18:05.4; 4, Courtney Partello, Iron Mountain, 0:18:32.3; 5, Arianna Morel, Iron Mountain, 0:20:16.0.
MALE -1, Mikhal Roell, Iron Mountain, 0:13:41.1; 2, Lucas Cavalieri, Iron Mountain, 0:14:13.1; 3, Michael Bachand, Iron Mountain, 0:15:26.7; 4, Kendal Janquart, De Pere, Wis., 0:15:59.6; 5, Dakota Galeazzi, Kingsford, 0:16:06.3.
(Full results available at www.superiortiming.com)