After two years of big changes for one of the smallest marathons in the state, runners showed up to face two challenges: running 26.2 miles and doing it in a Minnesota spring.
Rain, wind, and wet feet were everywhere on the roads in Nisswa for the 13th running of the Brainerd Jaycees Run for the Lakes Marathon on April 30. A smaller number of participants showed up in the punishing weather, but strong support turned out from the town and the surrounding community for the marathon and the three other races. And there was another noticeable change from the weekend: someone besides Brock Tesdahl or Casey Miller took home the first-place honors.
St. Paul resident Andrew Escobedo, 35, outran the field of 55 in the marathon, coming into view at the finish line without another person in sight. He splashed his way toward the tape to scattered cheers of people underneath umbrellas, becoming only the fifth person to be the race’s overall winner. (Miller and Tesdahl have nine wins between the two of them.)
Escobedo’s time was 3:09:25, close to the winning time from another bad-weather year—2008, during a snowstorm.
His closest competitor in the two-loop course that featured red and white pines and three lakes was 35-year-old Matt Swanson from White Bear Lake, coming in at 3:14:59. Tom Lyscio, 32, of Duluth was third place, finishing with a time of 3:25:52.