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Capac runners go distance at Great Lakes Relay Race



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Jake Hoover closes out a stage as teammate Josh Murphy is off and running during the recent Great Lakes Relay. The race covered a total of 275 miles.

S_capac_runners
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Jake Hoover closes out a stage as teammate Josh Murphy is off and running during the recent Great Lakes Relay. The race covered a total of 275 miles.

S_capac_runners
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Jake Hoover closes out a stage as teammate Josh Murphy is off and running during the recent Great Lakes Relay. The race covered a total of 275 miles.
August 15, 2007
CAPAC — A 10-member team consisting of Capac boys and girls cross country runners, both past and present, along with a couple of their friends tested their respective endurance skills at the Great Lakes Relay recently.

The relay race, encompassing 275 miles of territory, got underway Friday, July 20 in Rogers City and drew to a conclusion Sunday, July 22 in Empire on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Capac's lineup of Jake Hoover, Brendan Pfeifer, Josh Murphy, Todd Lawrence, Jeremy Paluch, Luke Allen, Lindsey Murphy, Jessica Medrano, Melissa Sawicki and Marissa Ingle required 34:24:30 to make the trek, good enough for a 15th among Mixed Division entrants.

The course took runners through state and national forests, over remote trails and roads, through sandy ruts, and of course a few hills. All of the roads are described as runnable but not all of them are driveable.

"You know coming in that it won't be easy," Josh Murphy said. "That is part of the draw of this event," he noted.

Jake Hoover, who runs collegiately with the Lake Superior State University men's cross country and track teams, echoed his sentiments.

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"This isn't like any race we encounter throughout the year," Jake said. "It pushes you to the limit and allows each runner the chance to see what they are capable of achieving," he noted.

Capac Cross Country Coach Steve Sampson said his runners look forward to the formidable test the Great Lakes Relay Race offers.

"To tell the truth I think they would still run it no matter how long it is," Sampson remarked. "They all like a good challenge and this race certainly offers that," he noted.

It is those challenges which keep his runners coming back each year to this event.

"One of my most memorable runs of the weekend was a 5.4 mile run up and down what seemed like Mount Everest over and over again," Melissa Sawicki recalled. "They rated that section of the course an eight out of 10 difficulty when it definitely should have been an 11 or 12," she noted.

"After the race is over on Sunday no one wants to go home or stop because we all formed some extremely strong bonds over the course of the weekend. We're like a big happy family, helping each other and making sure we all get enough to eat and drink. It is really nice.

"When you get finished with a run you feel spectacular because everyone is there cheering you on, asking you how it went and shoving a bottle of water in your face. It is something none of us who were there will soon forget."

Sports Editor, Kevin Kissane has been covering sports for the Tri-City Times for over 20 years and is one of the most recognizable personalities in the area. Kevin when not covering anything from little league baseball to football, or softball to basketball, can be found on the links playing his favorite sport, golf.
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