MEDFORD—The 42nd annual Pear Blossom 10-mile run was filled with intrigue prior to the gun sounding at 8:20 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Cole Watson, last year’s male winner, and Marci Klimek, last year’s female winner, were not in the field in 2018, leaving the door wide open for someone to claim the individual titles.
On the men’s side, Portland native and Olympic Trial hopeful Chris Platano ran away with the event, and posted a 52-minute, 25-second overall time (5:15/mile pace) to win the race by over four minutes.
"I kind of wanted to come in here and run about 5:15 average,” Platano said. “I felt really good about that. My watch messed up on the first mile so I wasn't really sure what I was running, but it looks like it was around that pace."
For the women, 22-year-old Heather Johnson, who finished second last year, ran her redemption race and placed first with a time of 57:57 (5:48/mile pace). Her margin of victory was just under three minutes.
"I only started running four years ago, and I don't know, I'm just figuring this out," she said.
Among the mortals running the race, personalities were on full display.
Many parents were running with infants in strollers. Tod Bankston ran to represent Kingsley Field, the F-15 unit in Klamath Falls. And one runner completed all ten miles in a suit and tie.
NewsWatch 12’s Jake Garcia ran the race with a camera and documented the action.