A Med City title to take home
It was home sweet home for Mark Evans on Sunday. Evans grew up in Rochester and graduated from Mayo High School in 1992. He returned Sunday to capture the 19th running of the Med City Marathon.
It was home sweet home for Mark Evans on Sunday.
Evans grew up in Rochester and graduated from Mayo High School in 1992.
But it's been a while since he's been back.
But on Sunday he did return and surprise, surprise, captured the 19th running of the Med City Marathon.
"Winning was not my intent,'' Evans said. "I was using the race as a good, long training run, hoping to run about a 6:30 (mile per hour) pace.''
He did that, which was good enough to win the race in 2:50.53, outlasting second-place Gerad Mead of Minneapolis who finished in 2:56.17. Third went to Peter Somers of Rochester, who was clocked in 3:00.25.
The time was the fourth "slowest'' in Med City history but for Evans, that was no big deal.
"Obviously, it's always nice to win a race of any kind,'' he said, "and it was especially nice to win it here. I ran past some of the landmarks that I haven't seen in years.
"The only bad thing, I wish my family were here to see it.''
They almost were.
His dad is Mack Evans, a former Rochester city councilman, who now lives in Elysian, Minn., with his wife Janice.
They were scheduled to be in Rochester for a mini-family reunion and to "babysit'' their grandchildren (ages 5 and 7) while Mark and his wife Meggan ran the marathon.
At least that was the plan.
"My parents couldn't make it, my grandmother got sick and they couldn't come,'' said Mark.
So a decision had to be made Saturday night on whether Mark or Meggan would run the marathon.
The other would watch the race from the sideline and be with the kids.
"I guess I'm lucky now that I ran,'' said Mark. "It really was up in the air. Meggan is a pretty good runner as well.''
An easy winner
Evans led from the get-go and was never seriously challenged.
"It's a nice course, scenic, but you're never going to get a lot of very fast times because there are a lot of turns,'' he said. "But that's OK, it was just nice to be here again.''
Evans ran both cross country and track in high school. His Spartans took second in the state cross country meet when he was a senior. He ran as the fifth runner for Mayo.
"We had some very good runners on that team,'' he said.
Evans, 40, went to college at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and studied to be a physician's assistant at the University of Wisconsin.
He now works as a P.A. in Appleton, Wis.
"I've been in Wisconsin for a number of years,'' he said, "but don't worry, I'm still a Minnesotan at heart. I still root for all the teams, even though I get kidded sometimes at work.''
Evans has now completed 12 marathons. His first was in Chicago (2002) and his best time came four years later in Austin, Texas (2;350.
His next one will be this fall at the Chicago Marathon.
"Because of the weather, it's hard to train for a spring marathon,'' he said, "but the fall is different. You train all summer in the heat and hopefully when you run, it's going to be a lot cooler.''
That wasn't the case on Sunday. Runners trained in the cold and all of a sudden, like overnight, it turned plenty warm.
"It was a little warm and toasty out there,'' Evans said, "but it didn't affect me much. Overall, it was a good day. A good day to run.''