Dauntless Dash unseasonably mild for runners

Erin Mullins

A duo of boys sprinted to the finish to try to win the Dauntless Dash mile Saturday on a mild November morning.
Lovell Elementary students Kayan Owens and Paxton Herd were running within half a meter of eachother until the final leg of the race. Running through the crisp air and broad sunlight of late November, the race was undecided until a few feet before the finish line.
Postrace, Kayan said he felt like his legs were going to fall off during the final dash. Paxton said he didn’t know if he was going to win because the other guy “was in front of me the whole way.”
But in the last 15 seconds, Paxton managed to pull away, leading the group and claiming victory in the mile by one second over Kayan. Local dad Carsten Waltjen rolled into third place while his son Kaden Waltjen followed half a minute back in fourth.
Not all of the mile was so serious as the neck and neck sprint.  “I was on a phone call in the middle of it,” Kaden said. “With who?,” Kayan asked. “My mummy,” Kaden said.
Kaden could not recall a reason why he wanted to talk on the phone during the middle of the race. He was happy about his race and wasn’t tired until the end. But one thing both Kayan and Kaden are certain of: they both want to be the winner next year. 
Meanwhile, the 5K was won by a margin of nearly two minutes. Brad Metzler of Powell secured the victory in 18:19.
Metzler said he wasn’t preparing specifically for the race, but that he “trains for everything.” Typically, Metzler runs longer distances on the trails, so he did not find the race very tiring.
Metzler said he was happy with his time and turned out because he likes to support local events. Instead of a mad dash like the previous race, he said he “cruised” to the finish.
Meanwhile, for the top female finisher, it was another close race. Emily Asay pulled away from Stephanie Metzler to cement a 10 second lead and secure the crown with a 24:12 5K.
“I wasn’t sure how many runners were behind me but I had this girl here to kind of stay behind. She was a good pacer for me,” Asay said.
The race felt “really good” she said, and with the blue skies and beautiful day she “couldn’t complain.”
Asay is excited to run the race next year. She is a regular finisher of the Dauntless Dash.