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

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.1 / 9
Displaying their race awards are, from left, Todd Miller, Rochester, Minn. (10K males 60-69); Chris Anderson, River Falls (5K overall winner); Jennifer Pinski, River Falls (10K females 30-34); Katie Alberg, Hudson (10K females 34-39); Sue Dahm, Hudson (10K females 50-59); Eric Wickstrom, Hudson (10K males 34-39); Matthew Schutz, Glenwood City (10K males 40-49); and Randy Penkwitz, Hudson (10K males 50-59).2 / 9
Jill Hatch of Hudson was the fastest woman, and placed second overall, in the 10K.3 / 9
The fastest male and female in the 5K were Chris Anderson of River Falls, left, and Miranda Miller of Hudson, center. Simon Shepherd of Pomfret, Vt., a River Falls native, placed second overall.4 / 9
Runners begin the Pepper Fest 5- and 10-kilometer footraces early Saturday morning. A total of 224 registered for the races, with 175 choosing to run the shorter 3.1-mile route. The races began and ended on Seventh Street N. next to the North Hudson Village Hall. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)5 / 9
Nathan Amann, left, and Bennitt Sparling came in first and second, respectively, in the one-mile kids race. Both are from North Hudson.6 / 9
Going on a different type of fire run are, from left, Dan Clark and Tony DeRose of the St. Joseph Fire Department, and Jon Coty of the Hudson Fire Department. Tyler Williquett of the St. Joseph department is hidden behind Coty. “Just for fun,” Coty replied when asked why they ran the 5K in their turnout gear.7 / 9
Mary Gergerson ran her first 5K race in memory of her father, Wally Gregerson, who passed away Feb. 22, 2014, at the age of 84. Wally was the North Hudson village president from 1977 to 1991 and a longtime Pepper Festival volunteer. 8 / 9
Former St. Croix County Clerk of Court Lori Meyer finishes the Pepper Fest 5K. Meyer is now the court administrator for Anoka County, Minn., but remains a Hudson resident. 9 / 9

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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