SPEARFISH — Tanja Cutting became the second two-time winner of the Leading Ladies Marathon half-marathon event Sunday morning in Spearfish.

Cutting lives in Rapid City and finished the 13.1-mile event in 1 hour, 29 minutes and 26.22 seconds. She also won this race in 2010.

“This one always treats me really well,” Cutting said in describing the course that wound its way through Spearfish Canyon. “I like it; it’s one of my favorites.”

Nikki McDaniel of Rapid City was the first to win this race on two separate occasions. She first did so in 2006 and duplicated that feat in 2011.

Records indicate the first Leading Ladies half marathon was run in 2006.

Cutting has competed in this race five or six times. She said the Canyon, plus the fact that it is a female-oriented event, brought her here the first time.

The Leading Ladies resume for Cutting includes a second-place finish in 2015 and a third-place showing in 2007. Kristi Krueger edged Cutting by 0.31 second (1:26.08 to 1:26:39) for 2015.

“I think Elaine (race creator and organizer Elaine Doll-Dunn) does a really nice job with the race,” Cutting said. “It’s supporting women running.”

Cutting said the entire course — especially its downhill path — particularly appeals to her.

She hoped to run the course in less than 1 hour 30 minutes Sunday. “I didn’t expect to win as a 49-year-old, so that was just a little bonus,” she said.

Training includes one long-distance run every other week. She does some speed work as well.

Cutting started running 35 years ago. Her biggest enjoyment centers on the sport’s health aspects; she works as a diabetes educator and likes to stay healthy.

Her biggest challenge centers on taking things more slowly, and knowing when to take things easy.

Two male runners were part of Sunday’s field. 

Rapid City’s Michael Albin won the full marathon in 3 hours, 11 minutes and 48.59 seconds. Mircea Basaraba of Winchester, Tenn., entered the half marathon and placed 83rd overall in 2:23:00.13.

Basaraba, 57, said the race went well. He said his main goal was simply to finish the race.

He has now completed a full marathon or half marathon in 35 of the 50 states. Basaraba began running seriously in 2004, and his “state goal” started in Florida.

“I said, ‘Well, this is fun. Let me run more,’” Basaraba said after the Florida race. “OK. I’m going to run 50 states.”

He plans to run three or four events to reach his goal. One year found him entering six races.

“The New York Marathon was impressive because of 47,000 people running,” he said. Basaraba plans to run in Las Vegas, Nev., in November.

Basaraba’s training includes running four days per week, with runs of at least seven miles during the weekends. 

Solitude appeals to Basaraba the most when it comes to running.

“I’m a physician, so I carry a phone with me all the time,” he said. “But when I run, I don’t have a phone. Nobody can call me.”

The training poses the biggest challenge for Basaraba, who said it is difficult to take time off for that. 

A total of 154 runners finished the half marathon, with 94 others completing the full marathon.

Four teams also finished the marathon relay.

Top-10 placers and other area finishers follow.


1 Tanja Cutting (Rapid City, S.D.) 1 hour 29 minutes 26.22 seconds

2 Jessica Ginger (Rapid City, S.D.) 1:31:24.03

3 Mariah Jeffery (Hillsboro, Ore.) 1:32:07.25

4 Jamie VanDeest (Spearfish, S.D.) 1:35:38.99

5 Chrissy Goodbody (New York, N.Y.) 1:35:43.24

6 Rebecca Linder (Rapid City, S.D.) 1:36:34.15

7 Trisha Larson (Philip, S.D.) 1:38:08.09

8 Krista Mallams (Rapid City, S.D.) 1:40:13.43

9 Kjersten Welch (Sioux City, Iowa) 1:40:30.16

10 Michele Evans (Rapid City, S.D.) 1:41:09.62

Other Spearfish

14 Amber Rose Koehler 1:44:33.96

20 Jessica Aluise 1:47:51.27

23 Maria Matson 1:49:53.60

38 Ashley McDonald 1:57:43.71

39 Jen Reiners 1:57:57.83

40 Jennifer Jungwirth 1:58:05.83

49 Kimberly Tollison 2:00:31.69

60 Crystal Mack 2:09:50.20

61 Maria Eisenbraun 2:10:43.42

65 Jane Pierce-McPherson 2:12:50.39

75 Diane Glasford 2:19:49.21

76 Kelly Harnett 2:20:23.36

86 Kenette Scharf 2:27:34.18

90 Maria Kemp 2:27:52.06

93 Jessica Smith 2:29:41.82

112 Katie Garcia 2:43:12.20

116 Claire Nida 2:50:52.08

117 Natalee Bruner 2:50:54.72

126 Michelle Clark 2:56:57.52

150 Wanda Russell 3:30:17.95


85 Marianne Wilczynski 2:27:23.36


79 Rae Blakeman 2:22:30.73

125 Nancy Remington 2:56:40.79


111 Alicia Lechtenberg 2:41:35.05

132 Hillary Hill 3:04:26.07


1 Michael Albin (Rapid City, S.D.) 3 hours 11 minutes 48.59 seconds

2 Jennifer Han (New York, N.Y.) 3:22:28.41

3 Melanie Sterkel (Alliance, Neb.) 3:26:20.12

4 Linnet Walter (Bismarck, N.D.) 3:29:39.49

5 Kristi Welch (Rapid City, S.D.) 3:31:04.54

6 Jodi Haywood (Calgary, Alberta) 3:31:42.90

7 Sarah Braden (Brookline, Mass.) 3:34:43.27

8 Cindy Foland (Sioux City, Iowa) 3:35:58.50

9 Lisa Kolda (Sioux Falls, S.D.) 3:38:25.96

10 Amy Tripp (Brandon, S.D.) 3:39:35.72


12 Angela Hovdenes 3:44:47.67

89 Emilia Flint 6:19:55.64


78 Chandra Finn 5:46:45.01


1 What The Hill (Rapid City, S.D.) 3 hours 32 minutes 16.78 seconds

2 Get Er Run (Hill City, S.D.) 3:35:58.17

3 Team Focus (Bennington, Neb.) 3:50:42.86

4 Crazy Ladies (Rapid City, S.D.) 5:00:45.92

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