Story last updated at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 2002

Espinosa leads Run for Women
by Sean Pearson
Special to the Homer News

photo: sports
  Photo by Sean Pearson, Homer News
More than 150 people competed in the Run for Women last Saturday.  
More than 150 runners, walkers, a few baby strollers, and three very dedicated dogs hit the road Saturday for the eighth annual Run For Women. The 5-mile race got under way at the base of the Homer Spit at 10 a.m., and just over 30 minutes later, the first-place runner crossed the finish line.

"We were really pleased by the number of people that participated in the race this year," said Colleen James, education director at South Peninsula Hospital. "We are always grateful for the support this community offers for so many causes."

The annual race, sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital and Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, is a fund-raiser for cancer research and a way to honor those who have battled breast cancer.

"It's a race that does a lot of things," James said. "It's not only for raising money, but also for giving people the opportunity to run in memory of someone who died of breast cancer, or celebrate someone who battled the disease and survived."

Competing for times were 81 runners. Lalito Espinosa finished at the front of the pack in 31 minutes, 10.41 seconds, more than one-and-a-half minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Monte Garroutte. Garroutte, a standout junior cross-country runner and wrestler at Homer High School, clocked in at 32:40.58.

Leading the way for the women was Jane Wiebe, who competed in the 40-44 age group. Wiebe finished sixth overall with a time of 34:21.53. Coming in just over one minute later was Christine Tanape at 35:27.93.

photo: sports
  Photo by Sean Pearson, Homer News
Some of the more than 150 participants begin Saturday's Run for Women to raise funds to fight breast cancer.  
In the 10-and-under age group, Ian Lowe clocked a respectable time of 1:06:29, edging his mother Catriona by one one-hundredth of a second.

Other top winners in their age groups were: Katherine Dolma, 10 and under, 1:40:22; Katie Faulkner, 11-14, 36:09.61; Holly McCune, 15-18, 43:50.26; Rachel Hendrickson, 19-24, 37:14.61; Espinosa, 25-29, 31:10.41; Christine Tenapa, 25-29, 35:27:93; Pete Coots, 30-34, 46:23.88; Leslie Koth, 30-34, 48:22.48; Charlie Button, 35-39, 34:49.06; Theresa Halpin, 35-39, 41:46.98; Andy Levy, 45-49, 32:42.71; Susan Brooks, 45-49, 49:34.92; Randy Wiest, 50-54, 33:54.33; Debbie Hannigan, 50-54, 1:11:39; Ken Satre, 55-59, 40:41.51; Diane Poston, 55-59, 1:11:39; James Hornaday, 60-64, 58:51.76; Marilyn Hendren, 60-64, 1:45:12; Barbara Leichtung, 65-69, 55:19.50.

Leading the pack for dog entrants was Tua, who finished with owner and training partner Koth in the 28th position.

"It's really a lot of fun every year to get out and do this," James said. "It's also a lot of hard work. We are already looking at what we can do next year to improve the race."

James said the race generated approximately $3,300 for breast cancer research and mammograms.

"The money we raised stays right here in our area to help pay for mammograms for those women in the community who could not otherwise afford the check-ups," James said. "We feel like we are just lucky to have a community that cares enough to get involved and take care of

its people."