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DEADWOOD — The Mickelson Trail Marathon is a huge race for the running community. Tim Dischinat, however, has already run and won an infinitely more significant race.

Dischinat completed his first half-marathon in Deadwood Sunday. The 26-year-old resident of Nazareth, Pa., is six years removed from testicular cancer.

Daily running was one of the things Dischinat did when he received a clean bill of health.

Spectators found it easy to identify Dischinat. He ran the 13.1-mile course in a Batman costume, complete with a mask he donned on certain occasions.

“I’ve always been a huge Batman fan,” Dischinat said. He ran in a 12-mile Pennsylvania race and was asked to compete in Sunday’s event.

Dischinat said he wanted to lift people’s spirits and morale; he succeeded. He also drew the attention of those gathered outside the finish line.

Prior to the cancer diagnosis, Dischinat weighed 288 pounds. He now tips the scales at 185 pounds.

“My goal was to finish and not spend a lot of time walking,” Dischinat said. He wanted to finish in fewer than three hours and crossed the finish line in 2:23:50.

Dischinat ran with his mask on for the first four miles. He then removed it to prevent it from becoming sweat-soaked.

“When I got to the stands and kids, I put it back on,” Dischinat said of the mask. He ran that way for the final two miles.

Dischinat already has his eyes set on a return engagement next year. He is in the Air Force at Ellsworth, works as a broadcast journalist, and hopes to train for the full 26.2-mile marathon.

“Keep your spirits high, and do the best you can,” Dischinat said.

The half-marathon field boasted a multinational flavor. Vanessa West of Wawota, Saskatchewan, Canada, ran her first 13.1-mile race.

“My goal was just to finish,” the 17-year-old West said. “I came to do this with my mom (Tammy Gill) and get it done.” West’s final time was 2:41:38.

West said the course sections featuring water and cliffs appealed to her the most. As she explained, “It gives you something to look at while you’re running.”

The hills posed the biggest challenge for West. “I’ve done up and down, but nothing that steep,” she said. “It can challenge a person’s balance.”

West’s training featured sessions of three minutes’ walking and one minute of running, three times a week. This complemented weekend runs that became progressively longer.

A return to this event is definitely in West’s future. “It was awesome, energetic, and a lot of fun,” she said.

Tane Owens sat with a couple of friends after completing the half marathon. The 24-year-old Vermillion resident ran this event for the second straight year.

What brought Owens back this time? “I love being here; the scenery is great,” he said. Owens added a friend wanted to run here this year.

The course around the 3.5-mile mark appeals to Owens the most. “A crowd gathers for about 400 meters,” he said. “It’s a good boost for the uphill portions.”

Challenges for Owens don’t have much to do with the course. He said a runner always wants to improve upon previous times.

Owens’ time this year was 1 hour, 33 minutes, and 43 seconds. That marked a 14-minute improvement from 2012.

Training for Owens featured running four days a week. He tried running fast some days and wanted to increase his mileage each week.

Owens is in his final year of a University of South Dakota masters program. He is studying kinesiology in preparation for a one-year AmeriCorps stint in Nevada, where he will help provide health care for military veterans and drug addicts.

“If I’m around, I’ll be here,” Owens said when asked if he’ll return in 2014.

Tyler Nack emerged as the overall half-marathon winner in 1:11.12. Shannon Bueker earned the women’s title in 1:20.37.

The overall marathon championship went to Scott Colford, who finished in 2:47.49. Taylor Peterson earned the women’s crown in 3:13.50.

Tri-State Tire Factory claimed the marathon relay. The five members combined for a clocking of 3:02.48.

Tofurkey won the co-ed marathon relay event in 3:27.56. The Masters crown went to the 5 Old Guys team in 3:51.31.

Mixed Nuts earned the women’s marathon relay championship in 3:56.19.

To see more photos, log onto To see more results see Tuesday’s Black Hills Pioneer.

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