Casey Comber (4:05.90) And Alexina Wilson (4:29.23) Win 13th Annual Ryan Shay Mile

Press Release
July 24, 2021

Charlevoix, MI — The 13th annual Ryan Shay Mile took place this morning in Charlevoix, Michigan under rainy conditions. This invitational road mile had separate races for men and women. There was $6000 in prize money available ($1250.00 1st place, $1000.00 2nd, $500.00 3rd, plus $250 prime for leader at half) with the title sponsor being Bergmann Marine.

Steady, and at times heavy rains persisted during both men’s and women’s races. Conditions may have slowed times a bit but it did not dampen the athletes enthusiasm, despite slippery roads.

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Just as in the 2019 race, Anna Shields was aggressive from the start, going through the 1/4 in 65 seconds with Alexina Wilson approximately 5 meters behind. Shields continued this strategy through the 1/2, earning the $250 “clear leader” prime along the way. Nearing the downhill at the 3/4 mark, Wilson took the lead and never relinquished it to win in 4:29.23. Shields followed in 4:35.60, with Madeline Strandemo battling Alsu Lenneman to earn the third spot.

From Alexina Wilson: “I thought the race went great! Didn’t even notice the rain. Knew if I could get through 800 with one or more people I would be able to push from there and hopefully hang on for the win. Excited with the time as well, it was a 6 second improvement on the last time I raced here.”

The men’s race was won by Casey Comber. The entire field was tentative through the first half of the race with Comber, James Gedris, and Austin Remick sharing pacing duties. Jack Anstey then joined the lead pack and a strong push for the finish started just before the 3/4 mark. Comber then asserted himself during the last 200 meters to soundly win the race in 4:05.90, with Jack Anstey and Elias Graca fighting it out for second and third, both breaking the 4:08 mark.

From Casey Comber: “First of all, the race atmosphere, even despite the rain was awesome. It’s a very loose, friendly vibe that makes it a fun event for the athletes. As for the actual race, we started a little conservative, maybe because of the conditions, but nobody really took charge early. I took advantage of the downhill and made a move where I thought people might be a little conservative and then accelerated all the way home!”

The Ryan Shay Mile started in the summer of 2008 to honor the memory of Ryan Shay. Ryan passed away on November 3, 2007 while competing in the 2008 USA Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City. Ryan was from Central Lake, Michigan, about thirty minutes south of Charlevoix. A talented runner, who through hard work and persistence, won championships in high school, while in college in Notre Dame, and as a professional. Ryan continues to be a role model for many young people in Northern Michigan and around the country.

Bergmann Marine, located in Charlevoix, Michigan, provides marine sales, service and storage facilities. This family owned and operated business spans three generations and has been providing service to Northern Michigan for more than twenty five years.

This event is held as part of Charlevoix’s annual Venetian Festival, and in conjunction with the Drenth Memorial 5k/10k road races on the same Saturday morning. Charlevoix is located in the upper northwestern portion of the lower Michigan peninsula.


Links to results:

Women – results:

1. Alexina Wilson – 4:29.23
2. Anna Shields – 4:35.60
3. Madeline Strandemo – 4:37.43
4. Alsu Lennemen – 4:38.02
5. Gina McNamara – 4:42.33
6. Tori Gerlachl – 4:47.66
7. Jaimie Phelan-Calderon – 4:50.50
8. Makayla Perez – 4:56.16
9. Ashley Montgomery – 4:57.95
10. Natalie Cizmas – 4:59.89

Men – results:

1. Casey Comber – 4:05.90
2. Jack Anstey – 4:07.14
3. Elias Graca – 4:07.99
4. James Gedris – 4:13.92
5. Austin Remick – 4:14.55
6. Malik Mahmud – 4:15.77
7. Charlie Lawrence – 4:22.24

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