Dec. 16, 2006
By NATHAN CHAMBERS
Defending Polar Bear Grand Prix champion Jen Alessandro repeated as the women's winner of the Reindeer Romp 4K at Cherokee Park on Saturday, running near the front of one of the largest fields in the four-year history of the Fleet Feet Louisville series.
The Reindeer Romp is the first of three races in the Polar Bear Grand Prix, which debuted in Dec. 2003. The other races in the series are the Snowman Shuffle 4 Mile, which will be held on Jan. 20, and the Frostbite 5K, which will be held on Feb. 17.
Former University of Louisville standout Tim Kaiser was the overall winner, beating old U of L teammate Mike Horan and more than 600 others who finished the four-kilometer run/walk through Cherokee Park's Scenic Loop on a cool but pleasant December morning. About 800 people registered for the race, many likely anticipating the forecasted warmer temperatures that arrived later in the day, and the number was close to the 845 who registered for the Frostbite 5K last February.
Kaiser outran Horan in the final meters and posted a time of 12:57.11. Horan, an Eastern High School coach, was second in 12:58.54.
Shelby County High School freshman Stacey Eden, one of the best young runners in Kentucky, was third in 13:18.22. Trinity High School senior Thomas Noel, who placed fifth in the Class AAA state meet and led the Shamrocks to their record 17th title last month, was fourth in 13:47.73.
Alessandro, who set school records during her career at Bellarmine University and since has become one of the area's best road racers, cruised to the finish in 14:12.22. Former Indiana University star Larra Overton was the next woman in 14:37.54, and Amy Doolittle-Crider was third in 15:18.31.
Complete race results and photos are available here.