As the pandemic swept the country, the competition disappeared from the calendar. The 2020 in-person event was canceled. Though runners could still give money to the non-profit group that operates the race in 2020 and 2021, they would run virtually, on their own course to see their times posted online. When local gathering restrictions started lifting in April 2021, dedicated organizers held a small, uncertified, special edition Get in Gear 10K in addition to the virtual races.
With increased vaccine numbers and decreased hospitalizations, the organizers felt confident in bringing back crowds to the start this year. The race has three roles this year on top of the day’s competition: It’s the first race in the USA Track and Field Minnesota 10K Championship and first race of the state running club circuit; it’s the championship 10K for the Minnesota Road Runners Club of America; and it the second 10K race in the chase for the USA Track and Field Minnesota Runner of the Year.
The half marathon is the newest Get in Gear race; it was added in 2009. Rain jackets and soaked shoes were on each of the 256 runners that completed this year’s 13.1-mile competition.
Birte Fretwell finished first in the women’s race, coming in at 1:32:53. Fretwell, who teaches physical education at a German immersion school and served in the German military from 2002-2008, previously won the 2016 Charleston Rock and Roll Half Marathon.
Local city runners took second and third: Allison Cottrell, 23, finished in 1:33:51; Rebekah Ormsby, 47, finished in 1:34:34.
Leading them all was 22-year-old Sam Hodgson, a Mankato State graduate who works as a personal trainer for the Mankato YMCA. He ran a blistering 1:12:52 and finished with a four-minute gap over second place Desmond Cariveau, 29, of St. Paul, who stacked 5:53-minute miles to finish 1:16:57. Third place was Minneapolis’ Jake Mogan, 31, in a time of 1:17:09.
More than 400 runners took to the West River Road for the 5K, a part of Get in Gear’s race weekend since 2005. Cole Monson of Amery, Wisconsin, came away with the win in 17:11, followed by Sam Keepman, 34, of St. Paul (17:37) and a 16-year-old, Christopher Falk of Monticello (18:20). Falk is a member of the Monticello Magic’s cross country team, which took second place in the 2021 state AA championships.
The other young winner was Adrienne Korey, who at 19 years of age led the women to finish in 20:36. She was followed by two 29-year-olds: Colleen Beatty of St. Paul (21:13) in second and Olivia Werner of Richfield (21:24) in third.
Full Results for the 2022 Get in Gear weekend races.