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First-place winners in the 2012 Pepper Fest 5K and 10K footraces included, front from left, Sue Dahm, 10K women 50-59; Brian Messer, 10K men 50-59; Colton Langer, 10K men under 18; Megan Shendel-Dittmann, 10K women overall; Calla Dexheimer, 5K women overall; back, Del Yndested, 10K men 70 and older; Shane Johnson, 5K overall; Tommy Datwyler, 10K overall; Jason Ogden, 10K men 35-39; and Tracy Yndested, 10K women 40-49.

Pepper Fest runs draw a field of nearly 200

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Pepper Fest runs draw a field of nearly 200
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Some familiar faces, and at least one bright new face, can be found in the photo of the winners of the 2012 North Hudson Pepper Festival 5- and 10-kilometer footraces.


Tommy Datwyler, a former Hudson High School runner, repeated as champion of the 10K for the fourth or fifth time.

He was closely followed by Jason Ogden, who once again earned first-place honors in the 30s age group for men.

Datwyler's time was 37 minutes, 51.7 seconds. Ogden ran the 6.2-mile course in 38 minutes, 4 seconds.

The annual Pepper Fest races were run Saturday morning, beginning and ending at the festival grounds at the North Hudson Village Hall on Seventh Street North. Close to 200 runners participated in the races.

Megan Shendel-Dittmann, a newcomer, was the top woman overall in the 10K. Her time was 52:9.8.

Shendel-Dittmann is a Hudson native. She was home visiting her father, Michael Shendel of Hudson.

The 5K race went to the young.

Twenty-six-year-old Shane Johnson of Hudson overtook Josh Cowan on the homestretch to win with a time of 20:24.5. Cowan finished second overall with a time of 20:25.9.

Ten-year-old Calla Dexheimer of River Falls was the fastest female in the race, finishing in 24:5.9. She was 10th overall.

Dexheimer, who will be in the sixth grade when school resumes, has been running since she was 6.

Her 7-year-old sister, Elena, placed 73rd overall with a time of 30:54.8.

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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