Race to Robie Creek crowns one defending champ, one newcomer

Men's champion repeats; top woman wins debut with bib from Craigslist.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comApril 20, 2014 

Markus Geiger was out to defend his Race To Robie Creek title Saturday, while Alisa Meier ran on a whim.

Both finished the 13.1-mile half-marathon first - Geiger as the overall champion in 1 hour, 17 minutes, 48.7 seconds, and Meier the women's champion (1:35:33.2).

Meier, who resides in Savannah, Ga., obtained her bib less than a month ago after realizing a Boise vacation would coincide with Saturday's race that saw 2,315 runners and walkers cross the finish.

After winning last year's race by more than six minutes in his debut, Geiger finished more than 3 minutes ahead of the field Saturday.

"I thought I was less prepared than last year, but apparently my body really likes the course," Geiger said.

The 25-year-old Geiger was a little more than three minutes behind his time last year, which was 69 seconds off the record.

He still was well ahead of second-place Jeremy Humphrey (1:21:03.3). The former University of Idaho standout was tested for the first mile or so before slowly pulling away in the next eight on the 2,100-foot climb to Aldape Summit.

"Strategy-wise, I'm thinking 'OK, once I reach the top in first place, I'm good to go,'" Geiger said.

Citing his reduced training regimen, warmer weather than last year and an early crosswind, Geiger said he realized fairly quickly he wouldn't break the record. Still, he was pushed to repeat by the gaggle of Micron co-workers that told him they wanted him to finish on top again.

"I felt I shouldn't disappoint them. I'm pretty happy and a little relieved I won the second time around," Geiger said.

For Meier, it was her first time running the course, though the 25-year-old watched friends run it while attending graduate school at Boise State. She and her husband, Mike, grabbed bibs on Craigslist last month because the race sold out in 70 minutes Feb. 17. Mike Meier was waiting at the finish line after running an impressive 1:32:53.6.

"I found out the weekend we were coming (on vacation), it was Robie," Alisa Meier said. "… I was like 'We've got to get in somehow.'"

The Meiers ran their first marathon March 23 in Atlanta, and Alisa said they're "still recovering." She noted that the 26.2-mile run helped with endurance, especially being unable to train on any course resembling Robie's in Georgia.

"We were just going to go for fun. … If it feels good, go fast, or if it was going to kill us, we'd slow down," said Alisa Meier, who ran for Boise State's club track team.

Lauri Thompson finished second for the third straight year in the women's race in 1:37:24.4.

Alisa Meier said she isn't sure if she will be able to return to defend her title, as Mike is in the Army and doesn't have the most flexible schedule. However, the couple that was introduced by a friend who knew they liked to run, have set the bar high.

"Now we've got to try," Mike Meier said.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420

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