Vasquez, Dutton whip field at Walker

Two heads may be better than one, but the four legs of Aracelli Vasquez and Heather Dutton of Fort Frances were better than the rest last weekend at the 21st-annual Walker North Country Marathon/Team Relay/10-km event in Walker, Mn.
Vasquez and Dutton paired up to win the team relay in the Open division (40-and-under) with a time of 3:53.00.
The race featured one team member running one-half the length of a regular marathon before letting their teammate take over for the rest of the distance.
Teresa Hazel and Gina Sigurdson from Fort Frances also competed in the Open division team relay, finishing with a mark of 4:40.20 (their placement was not available at press time).
Two other Fort Frances runners who journeyed to Walker made the podium out of the 18 who competed—the highest ever local turnout at this event.
Don DeBenedet came in second In the men’s 50-54 category of the 10-km race in a time of 43:26.
Other locals competing in the men’s 10-km were Ed Wiersema (40-44, 55:53), Bob Tkachuk (45-49, 55:56), Greg Beazley (25-29, 1:08.55), Wayne McIntyre (45-49, 1:12.03), and nine-year old Joel Skirten (1-14, 1:17.53).
Their final placements also were not available.
In the women’s division of the marathon, LaVanna Fox clocked a time of 4:26.15 to finish as the runner-up in the 35-39 age group.
Fort Frances runners in the women’s 10-km race included Megan Ross (30-35, 55:19), Anne McCoy (30-34, 57:44), Kim Beaudry (35-39, 1:09.25), Aimee Beazley (25-29, 1:08.35), Laureen Pinder (40-44, 1:11.54), Mary-Beth Tkachuk (45-49, 1:19.50), and Colleen Wiersema (45-49, 1:20.13).
Ross’ weekend was marred when she re-aggravated a knee injury during her race. The damage is severe enough that it will force her to skip the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis this Sunday (Oct. 5).
That event will see Bob Tkachuk, Connee Badiuk, and Cathy Kowal-Golding carry the Fort Frances banner in the main race while Char Bliss will run in the 10-mile competition.