Denfeld News

April 18, 2010
Duluth News Tribune

Fitger's 5K: Polson too fast for escort car

Jeremy Polson was enjoying a comfortable lead during the Fitger’s 5K on Saturday morning in downtown Duluth, and nothing could stop the speedy Duluth runner.

Not even a police car.

Polson had to run around a parked police car en route to defending his men’s title, covering the 3.1 miles in 15 minutes, 35 seconds, while Katie Koski of Duluth won her fourth women’s title, also with ease, as the 21st running of the event had a record 1,582 people registered.

When Polson came up Lake Avenue to make the final turn onto Superior Street, he overtook a police cruiser and the pace bike after catching them off guard. Polson scurried around the car and went against the oncoming field of runners and walkers before getting back in his lane. The squad car and bike eventually regained the lead in escorting Polson to the Fitger’s finish line.

Wynn Davis of River Falls, Wis., whom Polson has trained with, finished second in 16:01, 26 seconds off the pace. Polson’s time was six seconds slower than last year and well off his course record of 15:08 set in 2002.

“When you look at everything I went through, there’s your six seconds right there,” Polson joked. “It was pretty much the same kind of race as last year, with a little less competition. It was about what I expected. It was basically kind of a time trial.”

No prize money was awarded, and all proceeds from the race benefit the Young Athletes Foundation, a Grandma’s Marathon program that promotes youth athletic development in the Northland.

Polson, the 2009 Minnesota men’s runner of the year, is a social studies teacher at AlBrook High School and coaches cross country and track. He serves on the YAF committee and said his runners receive free shoes because of events such as the Fitger’s 5K.

“This is a different kind of a race, so it’s good to just get out there and run or volunteer,” Polson said. “It’s a fundraising event, so a little different caliber of runner shows up for it. It’s not a money event. All the money goes to the kids, so that’s a good thing.”

Koski, meanwhile, has raced the Fitger’s 5K most years, including coming in third among women in 18:20 last year. This year she clocked 18:23, running a strong race throughout to finish more than a minute ahead of Michelle Krezonoski of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Koski is logging about 100 to 120 miles per week in preparation for Grandma’s Marathon on June 19 and uses the Fitger’s 5K as a speed workout.

“It’s always kind of nice to get that first race of the season out of the way,” Koski said. “It’s always kind of a first painful reality check. My best race is the marathon, so this is kind of a hard and fast effort.”

Koski, 37, is an English teacher for Hibbing Community College but also teaches a Grandma’s Marathon training course for Lake Superior College.

She may have found a future pupil in Krezonoski, who is just 16.

“Yeah, but she’s a really good 16,” Koski said. “We’ll be looking for her at the front in the years to come.”

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