Kazery, Hall add more Run Thru History trophies to their collections

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, March 4, 2023

Peter Kazery is only 31 years old, but he’s already a living legend when it comes to the Run Thru History.

Kazery bested a field of 200 runners Saturday to win the 10-kilometer run through the Vicksburg National Military Park in 34 minutes, 37 seconds. Kazery won the race for the sixth time, the most of any runner in the event’s 44-year history.

Kazery also won in 2016, and a record four years in a row from 2018-21. He did not compete in 2022.

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“Just like every other record, it’ll go down one day,” Kazery said. “I don’t look at it as much from that angle, as much as it’s a neat place to be. I don’t think you can find a better-run race in the state. The whole community shows out. It’s special to be a part of it.”

Kazery beat runner-up Jeff Rafach by more than a minute. Rafach crossed the finish line in 35:56. Evan Hallford was third in 36:56, Isaac Childs was fourth in 38:19, and Chris McNeece rounded out the top five with a time of 39:37.

Kazery said his winning time was not his best, but he separated from the pack by the midway point of the race and still had plenty of breathing room to cruise.

“They weren’t on me as much, but you still have all the what-ifs in your mind,” Kazery said. “I was a little weaker today, but once you get through every mile you’re OK.”

In the women’s division, Vicksburg resident Kristi Hall took home her third consecutive Run Thru History championship to continue an unlikely dynasty. The 44-year-old finished second nine times before breaking through in 2021.

“I got a hat trick. So if I wanted to skip next year I can,” she said with a laugh. “I know there are people out there who can beat me. There are masters people who can beat me hands down and I just got lucky that I was the one that showed up. When I was faster I was getting second place all the time, but I just kept showing up.”

Hall finished 16th overall, with a time of 45:50. Laura Jimenez was second in the women’s division and 25th overall, with a time of 48:38. Patty Singley was third among the women and 38th overall in 51:49.

Like Kazery, Hall had plenty of cushion between herself and her nearest challenger as she approached the finish line.

“My race strategy is just to hang on for the first two miles and not die,” Hall said. “Not go backward down any hills. Just keep going forward for the first two miles and then start the race after Mile 2, because those first two miles are so challenging, and then see what I can do.”

In the 5K race walk, Larry Robinson finally won a race in Vicksburg without controversy.

The Forest resident was leading at last year’s Run Thru History when he took a wrong turn because of a course management mishap. He was awarded the victory anyway when runner-up Steve Pranger conceded his win when the mistake was revealed.

Then, in October, Robinson won the Over the River Run when the winning walker was disqualified for using improper form.

“When I was coming up I saw them way ahead and waving their arms. No controversy. The last couple of times had me scratching my head. I had fun today,” Robinson said.

This time, Robinson just did what he does best and crushed the field for his fifth Run Thru History victory in a row and ninth overall. Robinson’s time of 31:58 was more than a minute better than runner-up Ron Roma’s 33:17.
Pranger finished third in 33:48 and Alan Curry was fourth in 34:10.

Angel Curry, the women’s 5K walk winner, finished fifth overall in 34:33.

“This is the best trophy you can get at any race. I love that trophy. People come to the house and say, ‘That’s nice,’ and I say, ‘I know it is.’ But you’ve got to work for it.”

• Complete Run Thru History results
• Run Thru History photo gallery

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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