Behind her, Maria Langholz was running her first half marathon in more than a decade and cruised to a second-place finish. She PR’ed in 1:17:58—a time that aligns with her recent speedy marathon. The 30-year-old communication director for Demand Progress in Washington, D.C., grew up in Minnesota, went to Macalester, and returned to her home state this weekend for a cousin’s wedding—and the hotfoot hometown race.
“I’m running California International Marathon in December and trying to make the Olympic Marathon Trials,” said Langholz, who just missed the OTQ at Grandma’s Marathon (she ran a 2:38:22) after a two-month-long road trip. “[Today] was ideal running weather, and it’s such a great running culture here. And it’s great to run with so many other women who are fast.”
Megan Roth is another of those fast women: She finished third for women in 1:19:21, setting her own personal record. The 35-year-old running coach and mother of one is a City of Lakes veteran who is often seen zipping along the footpaths, sometimes with a stroller. She was second in 2019 and third in 2021.
Roth is also on a comeback from a life-altering experience. While running in the 2021 Boston Marathon, she collapsed and nearly died.
“I got a little emotional when at the starting line today because this was my last race I had finished before the Boston Marathon,” said Roth, who now runs with an implanted device near her heart to detect trouble. “This is the closest I’ve been to being back; this morning has been really fun to be racing again.”
She said she didn’t put pressure on herself to PR or place this year. “I reminded myself to not push too hard. Today gives me a lot of confidence that I’ll never have to deal with [the heart issue] again.”
Prior to Kampf’s arrival on the course, the record was 1:14:16, set by Diana Kipyokei in 2017. Though Kampf’s time crushed the official current half marathon time mark, Janis Klecker ran a 1:14:00 half split on her way to a first place 25K finish of 1:28:13 in 1991. (Klecker is a two-time winner of the US Marathon Championship: in 1987, at Grandma’s, and 1992, at the Olympic Trials in Houston).
The previous men’s record was 1:05:19, set in 2015 by Jermann’s friend and former training partner Ben Sathre. Jermann’s personal record time in a half marathon is a 1:02:52 from the 2020 Houston race.
“Before, I wanted to keep my pace conservative because I always blow up in the second time around the lakes,” Jermann said. “But I didn’t really do that.” Instead, he started fast and kept going fast—averaging a 4:56-minute-per-mile pace. “I was steady the whole way, so yeah, I’m happy.”
The former Iowa State University runner mentioned the hills as the big challenge on the course, which runs on the rolling parkway road and not the flat pedestrian paths.
As he crested the last hill, Jermann, smiling and sweaty, looked confident cruising toward the finish en route to defending his 2021 victory. By that time, the 30-year-old had opened a two-minute gap ahead of second- and third-place finishers Danny Docherty, 32, and Connor Reck, 29.
“I knew Tyler is in good shape,” said St. Paul’s Docherty, a running coach and program director for RunMinnesota. “I wasn’t going to try to go with him.” Docherty ran shoulder to shoulder with Reck, a former Harvard track man, until surging at mile 8. Docherty finished in 1:06:53; Reck in 1:07:18.
“The crowds were great, and the energy was great out there at the water stops,” Docherty said, calling out the nearly 75 volunteers who made the event happen. “This is the perfect day—we’re lucky to have the temp drop,” he said.
In the newly emerging non-binary category of runners, 23-year-old Maxi Erickson of Minneapolis ran 1:22:54 to win, followed by Sunshine Heymans, 41, of Waverly (2:13:51) and Julian Salyer, 39, of Eagan (2:21:15).
Jermann, Kampf, and Erickson each earn $300 for their wins, though holding the course record probably means more in the esteemed contest. For nearly 50 years, City of Lakes has circled the urban waters for the camaraderie unique to long-distance running. From 1975–1981, the race was the major marathon in the Metro. After the Twin Cities Marathon was founded in 1982, the City of Lakes race changed to a 25K, then shortened again in 2014 to the 13.1-mile distance.