Coats nearly breaks 5K mark
Chuck Coats didn’t run like a man who ended a 20-year running layoff a few years ago.
The Forest Grove, Ore., runner won the Lake Tahoe Marathon 5K by more than 2 minutes, nearly setting a course record Saturday morning at Valhalla Estate.
Coats’ swift 17:19.75 was only 4 seconds off Chris Badolato’s mark of 17:15, set in 2000.
Coats, who said he’s a recovering alcoholic, left the field behind a half mile into the 3-mile race.
“I was hoping somebody would run with me, because it made it mentally tough,” said Coats, a former Willamette College cross country runner. “It’s an honest course. It could be a fast course if it was at sea level.”
Runner-up Tim Lannan of Ottawa, Ontario, realized early in the race that Coats had a few extra gears.
“The first half kilometer I could just tell he was just gonna go, and I just wanted to get in to my own groove when I knew I wasn’t going to keep up with him,” said Lannan, who finished in 19:28.53.
Two years ago, Coats wasn’t sure he making the right choice resuming his running career.
“Boy, those first six months were hell. My knees were killing me,” Coats said. “I wasn’t sure. But I had all this extra energy from not drinking “
He crossed the finish so fresh that he planned to enter Sunday’s 10K — an event he also won.
Reno’s Julie Hinton, a Wolf Pack cross country teammate of Jamie Hansen, formerly of South Lake Tahoe, won the women’s division in 20:48.51 and was fourth overall.
“I did it for fun and to try and get a decent time,” Hinton said.
But Coats and Hinton were upstaged on this day by 10-year-old Charles Archuletta of Las Vegas. The fifth-grader was ninth overall, crossing the finish line in 22:55.09.
“Sometimes I run a 21-something, but my PR is 20 minutes flat,” Archuletta said.
Dave Martini of South Lake Tahoe was fourth among the men in 20:54.94 and Neal Chappell of Stateline at 21:19.70.
5K top 10
x-1. Chuck Coats, Forest Grove, Ore., 17 minutes, 19.75 seconds; 2. Tim Lannan, Monterey, Calif., 19:28.53; 3. Michael McGowan, San Francisco, 19:33.68; 4. Dave Martini, South Lake Tahoe, 20:54.94; 5. John Scott, 20:57.71; 6. Neal Chappell, Stateline, 21:19.70; 7. Charles Archuletta, Las Vegas, 22:55.09; 8. Jason Raddatz, 23:17.75; 9. Matt Cox, San Jose, 23:38.68; 10. Dan Murray, 24:14.80.
1. Julie Hinton, Reno, 20:48.51; 2. Ann Smiley, Dublin, Ohio, 21:49.68; 3. Lisa Dougherty, 23:51.79; 4. Norma Brown, 25:47.61; 5. Gail Malchun, 27:22.69; 6. Wendy Perry, 28:05.15; 7. Melissa Shaw, Carson City, 29:00.06; 8. Andrea Adams, 29:18.52; 9. Almarosa Lazo, 29:29.84; 10. Kara Gallas, 29:30.57.
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