New participant record for 2014 Canal Run

HANCOCK – The Hancock Canal Run is like the Energizer Bunny of races.

It just keeps growing and growing and growing.

The popular Copper Country race improved on its participation for the sixth year in a row Saturday, hitting 815 racers – a slight increase over last year’s 802 participants – across a five-mile, 10-mile and half-marathon trio of events.

Ideal weather coincided with the idyllic waterside race, producing another top-notch event in Race Director Angela Luskin’s mind.

“Another great year,” Luskin said. “It has been growing by leaps and bounds, and we are just so excited. Everything went smoothly, a really good day.

“We have such great support from our community to make this a success.”

Andrew Lund, a Calumet native, crossed the finish line first of all runners, winning the half-marathon in one hour and 26 minutes.

Two minutes ahead of his closest competitor, he stopped to do a little dance right before the finish line to the delight of the crowd.

“This was a fun race and I just wanted to have fun,” Lund said. “It was really a good day and I was just enjoying myself out there.”

Christina Carradine, a Marquette native, won the half-marathon on the women’s side.

For the 10-mile, Hancock native Amy Janeshek took the women’s title with an impressive 1:04:42 finish – more than 12 minutes better than Julia Lean (Calumet), the second place finisher. Andrew Brian won the men’s 10 mile with a 1:01 finish.

In the five mile, Lisa Wiitala, of Hancock, comfortably took first and Jacob Colling, a U.P. Champion for the Houghton track and field squad edged Tim Dunstan of Dollar Bay to win the short race.

With Quincy St. temporarily re-routed in Hancock to accommodate the finish of the race, Luskin said there was less congestion at the finish line than in years past.

“We had over 100 volunteers, which was great and obviously helped,” Luskin said. “And we just took all the feedback from the runners from last year, and tried to make the changes as best we could to streamline everything, and make it a little more efficient.”

Lund, the winner of the half-marathon, said he kept coming back to the Canal Run because of the fun course and the enjoyable setting.

“It’s great running along the canal,” Lund said. “Just so scenic.”

The half-marathon, installed last year, also proved to be a hit with plenty of returners from the year before and 154 racers total.

“I think the half is a really good race for distance runners,” Lund said. “It’s long enough that it is challenging, but you feel good at the end, unlike a marathon where you just feel drained.”