Lansing Marathon winner has U.P. ties

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

Michigan Tech

Scott Kentner had been here before. Standing at the starting line with hundreds of other racers like he had done hundreds of times before,
including several for the Michigan Tech cross country and track and field team. This time it was the Lansing Marathon.

He had the nervous anticipation that every  runner feels at the start of a race. Kentner, who works as a forester with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, wondered if all of his runs through the blizzards in his new home of Newberry, Mich., were going to pay off.

As the national anthem played, Kentner thought about all the victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, a race he had completed the year before in a time of 2:55. He also gave thanks that his former trainer partner at Michigan Tech, Kenny Gilkerson, was not injured after completing this years race.

“It was really unfortunate what happened at Boston this year, but you can’t let it stop you,” said Kentner.

Kentner quickly settled into pace and started to tick off the miles at the same methodical pace that was his trademark during his racing days for the Huskies.

The race consisted of two 13.1 mile loops that gave the runners a good tour of the city of Lansing. It wasn’t until the start of the second lap that Kentner actually knew he was winning.

“I didn’t know that I was leading until all the other runners headed to the finish line for the half-marthon,” said Kentner.

This was new territory for the Grand Ledge, Mich., native. He had won a local 5K before but never anything with the prestige of the Lansing Marathon.

Kentner covered the final 13 miles alone, running at the same 6:30-per mile pace that he covered the first 13 miles.

As he neared the finish in front of the state capital, he resembled another famous runner — Forrest Gump (complete with beard and red Bubba Gump Shrimp hat).

He crossed the finish line in 2:49, 10 minutes under his goal time and two minutes ahead of second place.

“I just wanted to finish in under three hours. I never thought I had a chance at winning,” said Kentner after completing his fourth career marathon.

What’s next? Kentner is hoping to complete his first full Ironman triathlon in Louisville, Ky., this August.