By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
Hunter Chamberlain was trailing his closest challenger through most of the first four miles of the Utah Summer Games 10K run last Friday. When he saw, him heading toward the water station, it was Chamberlain’s cue to find a new gear.
Once he did, the Dixie State junior and cross-country runner crossed the finish line first and took home some hardware.
Chamberlain ran the 6.2 mostly downhill miles in a time of 32 minutes, 47.8 seconds to earn the overall win and gold medal by just over 21 seconds in front of Andrew Knapik of Salt Lake City.
“He looked like he was stopping to get a drink of water and I was able to catch him, but then he saw me,” Chamberlain said. “He probably had a bigger kick left in him because he didn’t know anyone was behind. I had to pick it up to keep him from being right there. He probably would have outkicked me at the end.”
Chamberlain had enough of a cushion where he ran on the sidewalk as he turned on to 200 North before finishing in the street with a sprint to the line. It was the Dixie High alum’s first 10K and first run on a road course.
Two runners from Canyon View were next in the men’s race finishing order. Ben Fish, a 2016 graduate, came in third in 35:41.8 and Korban Cook, who will be a senior for the Falcons in the fall, was fourth in 36:07.3.
On the women’s side, Giselle Slotboom, who finished her senior season with the Utah cross country team last fall, easily crossed the finish line first in 34:25.2, less than 80 seconds behind Knapik. She ran with Knapik, who she identified as her boyfriend, for a time before he tried to run down Chamberlain in the final two miles.
“I had never run a road 10K or downhill race before,” Slotboom said. “I thought I’d go for it and we’d race it out, but he took off. Then I just ran my own race.”
Slotboom said the opportunity to run Utah Summer Games came about because Knapik was in Cedar City temporarily as part of his job, calling it “a chance to hang out, run a race, and take a summer holiday.”
Facing the challenge of what was primarily a downhill race, Slotboom said the added speed made up for the extra wear and tear.
“It’s a lot of pounding, but you just go faster,” she said. “It’s a different kind of pain. You feel your quads because of bigger steps, so it’s less effort to run the same pace.”
Slotboom finished more than four minutes in front of runner-up Kristen Bradford as both were the only women to complete the 10K in under 40 minutes. Among the top local finishers, 2017 Canyon View grad Sara Fish came in sixth (43:43.9).
Photos by Tom Zulewski
Caption: Hunter Chamberlain won in the men’s category. Giselle Slotboom won the women’s overall. Both are collegiate runners.