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Dr. Jeremy Cook of Hudson was cheered on to victory in the 2014 Pepper Fest 10K by his family. With him are his wife, Katy (Cari), right, and parents Bill and Annette Cook, left. Annette is holding grandson Charlie, 1½. William, 4, and George, 6, are in front of their grandfather. Jeremy, a Woodbury dermatologist, finished the hilly 6.2-mile course in 34 minutes, 58.2 seconds - more than nine minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.

Jeremy Cook wins Pepper Fest 10K by more than 9 minutes

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Hudson Star Observer
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Jeremy Cook wins Pepper Fest 10K by more than 9 minutes
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

This is a corrected version of a report posted earlier and published in the Aug. 21 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer.

Dr. Jeremy Cook ran the 2014 North Hudson Pepper Fest 10-kilometer race so fast that a Star-Observer reporter thought there was a mix-up in posting the results.

The 32-year-old Hudson native completed the hilly course in 34 minutes, 58.2 seconds, more than nine minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Hudson Middle School teacher and coach Eric Wickstrom.

The race officials initially named the wrong runner as the first-place female finisher in the 10K. It was discovered that Jill Hatch, who completed the 10K in 45:22.2, had been listed with the 5K finishers. Actually, she was the top female in the 10K and third overall.

Seeing the wide gap in times between first- and second-place 10K finishers, reporter Randy Hanson assumed a mistake was made there, too. He was wrong, is embarrassed, and apologizes for the making the assumption.

Now a Woodbury dermatologist, Cook played soccer for Hudson High School and for Northwestern University. He resides in Hudson with his wife, Katy (Cari), and their three young sons.

Wickstrom, who teaches science and coaches cross-country at the middle school, had a time of 44:13.6.

The 36-year-old Wickstrom also is a former Raider athlete. He said he needed to run the race to set an example for his middle school runners.

Hatch, also of Hudson, finished close behind Wickstrom with a time of 45:22.1.

August Nuutinen, 19, and Randy Penkwitz, 50, both of Hudson, placed fourth and fifth overall. Their times were 47:33.8 and 47:35.8.

Jennifer Pinski, 34, of River Falls was second among females with a time of 54:32.3. Katie Alberg, 35, of Hudson placed third among women. Her time was 55:19.3.

5K race

The kids ran away with the top awards in the Pepper Festival 5-kilometer footrace.

Christopher Anderson, a 16-year-old River Falls High School cross-country and track runner, was the first across the finish line in a time of 19 minutes, 21.1 seconds.

Hudson High School was well represented, too. Miranda Miller, a 16-year-old member of the Raiders cross-country team, won the women’s competition with a time of 19:49.3, and was fifth overall.

Simon Shepherd, 47, of Pomfret, Vt., finished second overall with a time of 19:38.3. Shepherd, a native of River Falls who is now a engineering professor at Dartmouth College, said he thought he was headed for victory in the 5K until Anderson blew past him in the final leg.

Chad Witt, 41, and George Halenca, 15, came in third and fourth, respectively. Both are from Hudson.

Sadie Kroll, an 18-year-old from Hudson, placed third among the women.

A total of 224 registered for the Pepper Fest races, held Saturday morning, Aug. 16. The courses started and ended at the festival grounds in front of Village Hall. The majority of entrants, 175, picked the shorter race.

Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
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