Hillier women’s runner-up at Whitefish

At the sixth annual Whitefish Point Marathon held June 9 that started and ended in Paradise, the Upper Peninsula Road Runners Club and the Muffin Runners of Marquette were well represented. From left are race director and Boston Marathon qualifier Bill Sved, UPRRC 2017 Female Runner of the Year Donna Thackwray and Boston Marathon qualifiers Karen Nelson, Keith Kuykendall, Barbara Trudeau and Peter Wertanen. (Submitted photo)

By Journal Sports Staff

PARADISE — A record 74 runners completed the marathon distance at the sixth annual Whitefish Point Marathon in Chippewa County on June 9.

Running from Paradise to Whitefish Point and back, Negaunee’s Kristin Hillier, 37, was runner-up among women in 3 hours, 41 minutes and 36 seconds.

Lori Jacques, 38, of Pinconning won the women’s title in 3:22:40, a Boston Maraton qualifying time, while Adam Schaaf, 23, of Greentown, Indiana, was men’s winner in 2:48:32 in his first finish of a marathon, also a Boston qualifier.

Men’s runner-up was Jon Elek, 24, of East Lansing in a Boston-qualifying time of 2:51:20.

Nine other Marquette County runners also finished the marathon.

For the men, Keith Kuykendall, 56, of Marquette was 10th in 3:33:17 (Boston qualifier); Peter Wertanen, 66, of Negaunee 30th in 4:09:02 (Boston); Matt Kniskern, 35, of Marquette 35th in 4:10:46; Bill Sved, 70, of Marqeutte 42nd in 4:18:54 (Boston); and Thomas Hautamaki, 28, of Marquette 47th in 4:23:32.

This marked the first marathon finished by Kniskern and Hautamaki.

For the women, Karla Shandonay, 38, of Marquette was 23rd in 3:54:54; Karen Nelson, 53, of Gwinn 27th in 3:56:59 (Boston qualifier); Barbara Trudeau, 59, of Marquette 38th in 4:12:08 (Boston); and Donna Thackwray, 59, of Marquette, 61st in 5:07:24.

Finishers came from 12 states, including 15 from the Upper Peninsula, and ranged as far as California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia. Three finishers were Canadians, too.

A record 17 Boston qualifying times were attained with each awarded a BQ (Boston qualifier) mug, while 15 runners finished their first marathon.

The event is hosted by the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce and includes sponsors from that community, Newberry, St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie.

Sponsors, volunteers, Whitefish Township and Whitefish Township EMS were also credited as essential to the race.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.