March 4, 2016
LetsRun.com nation, meet Kate Kowalik. The 13-year-old from Kansas defied the odds and is the winner of the 2016 LRC Running Warehouse Marathon Trials Prediction Contest.
Kate was the only entrant in our contest to pick the top two correctly in the men’s and women’s races at the Olympic Marathon Trials and rightfully came out on top. Don’t let Kate’s age fool you; she’s a big fan of the sport, a good runner in Kansas, and comes from a running family.
Kate’s mom and stepfather to be, Rikki Hacker, both work at a running store in Kansas. The way Rikki tells it, he had a watch party for the Trials and encouraged Kate and her 11-year-old little sister Khloe to enter the LRC Running Warehouse Prediction Contest. Kate ended up winning, Khloe ended up in 10th place in the women’s prediction contest and Rikki “was lucky to be in the top 700.”
As for besting all of the self-proclaimed experts who visit LetsRun.com, Kate’s strategy was simple. She wrote, “I picked the winners by already knowing some of the runners (my parents always talking) and also looking at running magazines.”
Men’s Contest Winner: Alana Hadley’s Dad Mark
Mark Hadley’s name is familiar to many LRCers. He is the dad and coach of Alana, the youngest racer at the Olympic Marathon Trials (she turned 19 earlier this year). Last year, as an 18-year-old, Alana was the fastest female entrant (2:38) from the U.S. at the New York City Marathon.
Considering Mark’s expertise having coached seven different runners to marathon trials qualifiers (he has his own coaching websites Maximum Performance Running and EliteMarathoning.com), it’s not a surprise Mark finished atop one of our contests. It might be a surprise that Mark won our men’s contest not our women’s. But how’s he supposed to pick the women’s race objectively when his own daughter was racing?
A Dude Who Just Loves Running Wins Our Women’s Contest
The winner of our women’s portion of the prediction contest isn’t the father of a child prodigy or a 13-year-old girl. He is 32-year-old lawyer Brian Weisel from Columbia, Missouri. Brian is married with one 3-year-old son. Brian, like most of us, loves to run, but that wasn’t always the case. As for running he says, “Nothing beats a slow trail run on a Saturday to clear away all the clutter and make me feel great! I ran a little in high school, but not very competitive. My only strategy is to take off the watch and remove the headphones. I hated running for the first 5 years I did it, but when it stopped being exercise and started being my release I found I like it much more. I’m probably faster now than I ever was, but I don’t know because I don’t really check. Also, I cry like a baby when I watch the Ironman Triathlon show every year.”
Brian won the Asics shoe of his choice, a $100 RunningWarehouse.com gift certificate and a LetsRun.com Not Rupp Certified T-shirt. Mark chose the Asics DS Gel Racer 11.
Check Your Scores
Thanks to everyone who played. If you played and want to check your scores click here. The top 10 overall get LetsRun.com T-shirts.
Thanks to Running Warehouse for Sponsoring our contest. Scott Bauhs, who finished 31st at the Trials and was in the top 10 late, coordinates all the contests with LetsRun.com.
When you need to buy running shoes online, remember to buy from RunningWarehouse.com.