Steven Waite (35:47.9) and Katie Burns (45:36.3) are back-to-back winners of the 10k race at Saturday’s Smokey Bear Run / Walk at Bass Lake.
“Our times are a bit slower this year, but we have good excuses,” Burns said with a chuckle.
The pair indeed had good excuses - Burns coming off a six-day backpacking trip and Waite running for the first time in eight weeks due to a broken toe.
Waite will run in the New York Marathon on Nov. 5, and Burns is preparing for a 100k on Oct. 7 in San Diego.
The first place finishers are both university professors with master’s degrees - Waite, 27, of Fresno, is a professor of kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University, and Burns, 32, of Bass Lake, is a professor with a master’s degree in education, and teaches at the High Sierra Campus of Azusa Pacific University.
For Waite, who only took up running seriously about four years ago, it was his second time to run in the event, placing first each time.
“This is a challenging course with a lot of great volunteers,” Waite said after the race.
A member of the “Bandoleros Running Club,” Waite graduated from Clovis East High School in 2008 and was the goal keeper on the Fresno Pacific soccer team prior to graduation.
Burns said it felt good to win a race on her “home course.”
This year marked the 30th year the event has been held and Ken Takeuchi, of Fresno, has served as the Race Director for all 30 events.
NOTE: Complete results can be found at www.smokeybearrun.com. For more details and additional photos see the Sept. 28 issue of the Sierra Star.