Burkholder 5K draws a crowd
August 12, 2022
Cool temperatures and overcast skies greeted runners on Saturday morning for the 25th running of the Kristin Burkholder 5K run/walk in Esko.
"We had 178 finishers this year," said race director Randi Nyholm. "The weather conditions were perfect and everyone was excited to get together again."
The overall winner in the men's race was 17-year-old Ben Meysembourg, of Esko, with a time of 17:58. He was followed by 37-year-old Jason Kunz, of Esko, with a time of 21 minutes. Cloquet's Aiden Korby, 13, of Cloquet, was third in a time of 21:36.
"Our numbers were higher than last year, but we still are not where we were prior to the start of Covid," said Nyholm.
Duluthian Nicole Lundberg was the first female finisher, as the 36-year-old rolled in with an impressive time of 22:24. Lundberg's time was also good enough for a fifth-place overall finish. Mahtowa's Amber Kantonen had a big run at age 46 by finishing ninth overall and second in the women's open division with a time of 23:09. Wrenshall's Yvette Maijala, 54, was third in the women's division with a nifty time of 23:39.
The race is held in memory of 12-year-old Kristin Burkholder, who died from injuries from a pedestrian-car crash while running during track practice on Canosia Road in 1997. The beginning of the race is held at the accident site and the finish is at the Esko Sports Complex.
"Kristin's dad, Kevin, starts the race for us and all the proceeds go towards scholarships at the school," Nyholm said.
Each year the event is held in conjunction with Esko Fun Days. This year an added bonus was Esko's all-class reunions at a number of locations and venues across the area over the weekend as well.
"There just was a lot going on and the race was a big part of it," said Nyholm. "The rain stayed away and all we had were a few sprinkles during the end of the race and at the awards ceremony. It was just an awesome event, and to have our sponsors stay with us through all these years is so important to the event, so I want to give them a big thank-you."