SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – Lingle’s Dani Kinberg and Caren Speckner were two of more than 250 runners to compete in the Monument half marathon in Scottsbluff, including around 15 from Goshen County.
“This year, it was for fun,” Kinberg, who accidentally completed the race in mismatched shoes, said. “We both sent our little girls to kindergarten this year, so it was kind of just a fun thing to do… Our goals today were to have fun, to finish and to not be carried off by the medical golf cart. Those were the three goals and we got all of those.”
Kinberg, who completed her fifth half marathon and fourth in Scottsbluff, set a pace of 12:31 minutes per mile and finished with a time of 2:44:01. She finished 158th overall and 20th in her age category. Saturday was Speckner’s second half marathon in Scottsbluff and she finished 188th overall with a time of 2:59:53, putting her 15th in her age division.
“I think in the past I’d done it more for time, and today it was for just the experience and for enjoying the day,” said Speckner, whose birthday was the same day as the half marathon. “It was a beautiful day with beautiful scenery – nothing to complain about.”
The duo, who are neighbors in Lingle, spent the summer training for the half marathon, fitting in runs when they could. Kinberg said they averaged a few runs a week, including a long run of 6-10 miles every Monday morning. When not training for a half marathon, the two still try and run when they get the chance. While running together in training as well as in the half marathon, Speckner and Kinberg had the same mentality, especially when the going gets tough.
“One of the phrases that we have enjoyed today is ‘How do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time,” Speckner said. “That was the approach to the day.”
Speckner and Kinberg both have plans to lace up their running shoes again in the future to compete in more half marathons, but they’re unsure of when their next race will be.
Eleven others between Torrington and Lingle competed in the half marathon. The best performance was turned in by Torrington’s Byron Cronk, who took 20th with a time of 1:49.33. Jill Cronk was not far behind, finishing 26th with a time of 1:51.27.
Other locals to compete in the half marathon included: Jim Kappen – 58th, 2:04:42; Lori Rose – 144th, 2:37:37; Sara Truesdale – 72nd, 2:08:00; Leicy Franklin – 214th, 3:23:04; Dixie Kroenlein – 238th, 3:45:47; Zachary Miller – 71st, 2:07:54; Karen Mortimore – 239th, 3:45:49; Rob Mortimore – 62nd, 2:05:44; Shaylee Mortimore – 63rd, 2:05:44.
Three runners from Torrington also competed in the 5K Saturday, led by Dawn Cronk, who turned in a time of 35:19 to finish 40th. Sebastian Brumley (38:26) and Charise Vanessa Brumley (38:34) finished 54th and 56th.