Conditions 'could have been a lot worse' as Frisch wins HHR

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Chris Frisch, of Rochester, runs in the Scheels Healthy Human Race Half Marathon Saturday in Rochester. Frisch was the overall race champion.

Those who went for a bike ride, were out walking, made it to the farmer's market, played soccer or attended Greek Fest on Saturday soon discovered that It was an icky morning.

Icky like in cold, wind and rain.

But if you're running a half marathon? Saturday morning was close to perfect. Again, cool and overcast.

"It could have been a lot worse," said Chris Frisch.

Oh my, yes. Under one name or another the Scheels Healthy Human Half Marathon has been held for 45 years and more often than not, heat has been a factor.


After all, this is August in Rochester and at that time of year it tends to get warm, if not hot. Just like it gets bitterly cold every January.

"I'm not complaining," said Frisch. "It was a little windy but nothing major."

Frisch, 33, of Rochester, outdistanced the field of 342 finishers and won the race with a time of 1:17.04. Braden Richardson of Byron was second in 1:17.22 and former Med Cities Cities Marathon winner (2015) Jim Onigkeit was third in 1:20.12.

But that is nothing new for Onigkeit; it was his third straight third-place finish in this race.

But the day belonged to Frisch, who virtually led from start to finish.

"Actually I took the lead about the one-mile mark," he said. "Overall, I didn't feel my best, and it wasn't the easiest course. There was a little wind and a couple of hills that got my attention."

Frisch is from Ohio, but moved to Rochester in 2011 and graduated from the Mayo School of Medicine in 2016. He currently serves as an otolaryngologist at Olmsted Medical Center.

"This was a good, hard run for me," he said, "and I needed something like this because I am training for the Chicago Marathon in six weeks. This was a good test."


Speaking of marathons, Frisch, who trains by running 60 to 70 miles a week, was third this year at the Med City, finishing in 2:48.48.

He opened about a quarter-mile lead over Richardson midway through and it stayed that way for most of the race.

"I lost track of him Frisch) when we were in the woods (of the course)," said Richardson, "and when we got out I realized that I had closed the gap quite a bit. But then he turned around and saw me and opened it up again. No way could I catch him."

Richardson closed to within 18 seconds at the finish. Onigkeit was three minutes further back.

But Richardson wasn't complaining. His 1:17.22 was a personal best, by about a minute (1:18.15).

"Rainy and cool, that's the way I like it," he said. "I didn't know what to expect going in; it's almost impossible to judge a field until you're out there. But I'm happy with the way things turned out. Am I disappointed that I didn't win? No, not really. I thought I ran a good race."

Richardson finished second in the Rochester Half Marathon last fall. He is from Michigan and graduated from Michigan Tech. He moved to Rochester in 2007 and then seriously started to run two years later. He currently works at Western Digital.

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