Brendan Sage wins Brookings Marathon

Sean Welsh/Register: Above, former Jackrabbit Brendan Sage nears the finish line in the Brookings Marathon on Saturday morning. The Saint Michael, Minnesota, native won in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 43.96 seconds – just off the course record. Below, the Association of Road Racing Statisticians listed 1 hour, 18 minutes, 53 seconds as the fastest half-marathon ever run by a 13-year-old. Sal Wirth of Annandale, Minnesota, broke that record Saturday morning in the Brookings Half-Marathon, posting a time of 1:16:11.14 while placing second in the event.

BROOKINGS – A former Jackrabbit flirted with the course record in the Brookings Marathon on a foggy Saturday, while a 13-year-old Minnesotan broke an age-division half-marathon world record.

Brendan Sage crossed in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 43.96 seconds to win the marathon.

“It was about what I expected,” the 25-year-old Saint Michael, Minnesota, native said. “For sure I was going for under 2:30:00 … I had my watch set to the course record for a goal and I was kind of watching it the whole way. I was on pace for about 15 miles and started to slowly get tight.

“I gave it a chance. It’s my second marathon, so I’m not disappointed.”

The marathon record of 2:23:29 was set by Sioux Falls’ Randy Fischer, 23, in 1979.

Sage’s time was the fourth fastest of all-time – and best since 1981. Sioux Falls’ Michael Dunlap, 23, went 2:23:34 in 1980 and Fischer ran a 2:24:35 in 1981.

“A lot of getting used to, so very knew,” said Sage of the marathon lifestyle. “I had some confidence going into it. I did some longer runs to prep for it but I just need more races really – to really get the experience and get used to those last 4 miles to start pushing.”

Sage won the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series marathon in 2:20:58 in his marathon debut Jan. 19 of this year.

He added about Brookings: “It was a pretty fair course. I didn’t expect it to be that tough – just all the sharp turns and all the hills it just added up. It wasn’t a fast course; it wasn’t a slow one. I’m happy it’s fair.”

Addison Albin, 33, was runner-up in 2:33:39.86.

“It was tough … tough from the start,” said the Parkville, Missouri, resident, who had never been to the city. “I had a strategy to try to keep all the (mile splits) under 6 (minutes) and it was just tough and I told myself to ride it out until you can’t anymore and kept it together. So I’m happy.”

He’s run fewer than 10 marathons in his life.

Kristen Comment, 46, of Kansas City, Missouri, placed 11th overall and was the top female finisher with a 3:02:48.31 clocking.

“I thought it was awesome. It was a beautiful day; I really liked Brookings; it’s a beautiful course. The weather was awesome – perfect running weather – and it just went well,” she said.

Comment has run around 40 marathons and she set a PR on Saturday – topping her mark from 2012 in the Twin Cities.

“It’s been a long, long haul – two babies, a bunch of injuries in there, so yeah, about a 1 1/2-minute PR,” she added.

Annandale, Minnesota’s Brandon Riehm, 25, crossed first in the half-marathon in 1:15:43.29.

Salvador Wirth, of Annandale, Minnesota, was second in 1:16:11.14, setting the age-division half-marathon world record in the process.

Sioux Falls’ Heidi Johnson, 47, was the top female finisher as she posted a time of 1:32:12.46 and ended up sixth overall.

The Prairie Chicks won the Marathon Relay in 3:15:28.43.

Complete results are available at


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