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Nearly 200 runners and walkers compete in annual memorial race in Ochoco Creek Park

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Candi Walker, left, and Idy Berger approach the finish line of Saturday's Hotshot run. Walker was the last finisher in the 10K run, while Berger, who is 86, was completing the 5K walk. It was the 25th anniversary of the run.The 25th Annual Prineville Hotshot Memorial Run is in the books, and by all accounts, the run was a huge success.

The run, which was started to honor members a Prineville Hotshot crew who died fighting the South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado in 1994, is still going strong.

Nearly 200 runners and walker took to the starting line on Saturday for the annual event.

"We do it in support of the Wildland Firefighter Association," said race director Jonathan Lent. "It's a foundation that helps firefighters and their families who have been either killed or injured in the line of duty. Also, it is a great opportunity for the community to come together and support the families of the South Canyon Fire."

Nine members of the Prineville Hotshot crew plus five other firefighters lost their lives in the fire on July 6, 1994.

Prior to the start of the races, racers observed a moment of silence to honor Jon Kelso, Kathi Beck, Tammi Bickett, Scott Blecha, Bonnie Holtby, Levi Brinkley, Doug Dunbar, Rob Johnson and Terri Hagen, the firefighters from the Prineville crew.

After the somber start, racers sprinted away from the starting line as the race saw some of fastest times in recent memory.

Curt Gibson won the 5K race, while Ron Deems came away with second.

The 42-year-old Gibson finished in a time of 19:07.9, while the 61-year-old Deems finished in 19:57.8.

Megan McNally was the first woman to cross the finish line, taking fifth overall with a time of 20:27.1.

With 138 runners and walkers participating in the 5K portion of the event, racers were still crossing the finish line more than an hour after Gibson finished.

William Schultz was the first walker to finish the course, finishing in a time of 22:16.9, while the final runner didn't cross the finish line until an hour later as Candi Walker finished in 1:22:17.1.

The final two walkers to finish the course were Idy Berger and Amy Kasmier in times of 1:22:18.1 and 1:24:06.9, respectively.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - A group of enthusiastic kids race away from the starting line during the kids fun run at the Prineville Memorial Hotshot Run, which was held on Saturday in Ochoco Creek Park.
Berger is 86, while Kasmier is 52.

The 10K race was even more competitive than the 5K event.

Adam Zais led for most of the race but was passed by Nate Robinson less than a half mile from the finish line.

The 36-year-old Robinson finished the 10K race in 39:29.8, while 29-year-old Zais finished in 39:42.9.

Nick Scalfore was third in 40:34.6.

There was a big gap following Scalfore before 49-year-old James Blanchard crossed the finish line in fourth with a time of 48:00.8.

The first woman finisher was Maryann Pickett, who finished ninth overall with a time of 54:57.7.

Jane Cleavenger was the second woman finisher, taking ninth overall with a time of 57:56.

The final two runners on the course were John and Patti Kemper, who finished 43rd and 44th overall with times of 1:41:12.5 and 1:41:43.9, respectively.

In addition to the two adult runs, there was also a short kids fun run, but no results were available from that run.

Complete results from both the 5K and 10K races will be in Friday's Central Oregonian.

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