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Bostron, Gehrking win Frozen 5k titles

<b>Tribune photo by Rand Middleton</b> About 90 runners and walkers set off in light rain and 35 degrees for the fifth annual Frozen 5k in Spicer on Saturday. Conrad Bostron (6) would win the 3.1-mile January jaunt in 19:33. Lori Gehrking was the women's winner in 24:47. The complete results will appear in Tueday's paper.

SPICER -- A run in winter is no time for a spring rain.

Showers fell Saturday morning sapping what had might have been a record field.

Instead of over 200 runners -- the record is 233 in 2007) -- only 90 runners and walkers finished the Fifth annual WinterFest Frozen 5k.

A digital billboard at the south entrance to Spicer showed the race- time temperature at 35 degrees.

The mild conditions couldn't offset rain and the threat of dangerous travel.

The last two Frozen 5ks were held with the mercury around 12 below and each had a field of 100 runners.

Four days before the event, race director Dave Baker had projected a record field attracted by mild temps. But even two dozen pre-registered runners rejected the invitation due to the messy conditions.

The list of the finishers' home towns reveals the field was more local than usual.

Runners found sure traction along Lake Avenue, which had been well-sanded.

Conrad Bostron, 50, of Spicer was first back to Melvin's on the Lake at Saulsbury Beach in 19:33. Three more runners weren't far off his 6:18 pace for the 3.1 mile jaunt to the Bible camp and return: Steven Lueders of Kandiyohi at 19:44, Aaron Madsen of Willmar in 19:49 and Jamie Haugen of Olivia in 19:51.

It was nearly two minutes before the next runner, Michael May of Willmar, reached the finish.

Lori Gehrking of Willmar was first in the women's division, her second win here in three years.

It was the first win overall for Bostron, CEO of Central Lakes Cooperative of Atwater. He's only a fourth-year runner who placed second overall to Micah Driscoll in the 2009 Glacial Lakes Championship Running Series.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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