Short run for some, but Azle long on fun
Runners begin the Azle Lake Run Half Marathon and 10K in the top photo and the 5K, bottom photo, started 15 minutes later. Kiplimo Chemirmir was the overall winner in the half, which was the first year for the half at the Azle event. Nolan Catholic runner Will Coomer, 16, won his first overall title in the 5K male division with an 18:42. It was also the first year for the 5K at the event that has featured 10K and 2-mile runs. Molly Grover, 14, of Azle won the female 5K division with a 21:51.
Kiplimo finished the race in a PR of 1:06:15. Winning the female division was Amy Johnson, 47, of Azle in 1:44:40. In the 10K, Stuart White, 47, of Azle won the male overall with a 34:53 and Kim Andres, 57, won the female overall in 47:22.
An overcast, relative cool morning (low 60s) greeted the participants (about 300) for the events that also included a 10K and 1-mile fun run. Although several participants who were interviewed said they liked the new half and complimented the course through the scenic neighborhoods and near Azle Lake, they said the half and 10K courses were short. It's possible the 5K might have been short, too.
Four of the runners finishing behind Kiplimo said their Forerunner watches, which have GPS readings, showed between 12.2 and 12.4 miles, well short of the 13.1-mile half distance. Kimplimo, however, said he ran the 13.1-mile distance and said there was a possibility the others missed a turn near the 11-12-mile marks. He was alone and following the lead motorcycle. In the 10K, a few veteran runners, including former 10K winner Mark Miller, said he probably posted a time that was about a minute or so faster than the pace he was running. The course has been modified somewhat since he last won because of a new finish line, which is on a road next to the baseball field rather than on the high school track.
For Kiplimo, he was happy with his run and is looking forward to the Congress Avenue Mile in Austin this weekend. He hopes to beat his 3:52 personal best. He said he liked the course but joined some others who would like to have seen mile markers and more water.
David Hague said he was a little disappointed because he was trying to beat 1:30 in the half and was on pace to do it. But that was his only complaint and took his disappointment in stride, noting it was a nice day to run.
Jared Conrad of Dallas said the course was good. ''It would have been excellent had it been 13.1 miles. But it's scenic and had rolling hills so you could make up some speed on the downhills.
''There were a lot of volunteers and it was well-marked. It would have been nice to have had a little more water (on the course). They did a good job of organizing it.''
Most of the participants liked the support on the course. Kim Andres of Irving, who won the female division n the 10K, said there were several groups of people on the course cheering on the runners.