It was a perfect day for a 5K – crisp and cool with beautiful sunny skies. As the runners and walkers lined up for the 9AM start, race directors, Joan Grillo and Natalie Kik-Brown, fondly remembered the victims of the Wright Township murders and the prayers were offered for crime victims everywhere.
Following the start, racers tackled the hills on Grand as they headed toward Lake Michigan. At the beach they turned north where they struggled against a steep, cold wind for about a mile until the course turned east. With the wind at their backs and the warm sun on their faces, racers experienced ideal weather conditions for the perfect finish to the race.
Race announcer, Matt Schmid, kept the spectators excited and enthusiastic as he called off racers’ names as they crossed the finish line. Court and county employees had fantastic race times!
Here are a few of the amazing highlights from the 5k: Shannon Felgner (County Administration) was the overall female winner of the race with an impressive time of 22:54! Kristen Wise (wife of Josh Wise, FOC) finished 2nd for females 30-34 at 25:07 and Misty Cunningham (County Administration) came in third with a time of 25:44 in the division. Shannon Virtue (Planning) was tenth in the age group with a time of 35:22 and Amanda Sheffield (Probate Court) finished 16th at 41:28 and Amanda Zant finished 17th in 44:24. Barb Cherry (FOC) finished second among females 35-39 with a time of 28:02, while Ann Koster (Sheriff) and Shauna Vugeteveen (Sheriff) finished together in fifth and sixth places with 30:56 in the same age group. Sara Fillman (Sheriff) took second place in 31:47 and Kelli Wyse (LSHC) finished fifth for females 40-44 with a time of 39:34. Julie Yoas (Public Health) finished first among the women 45-49 with 25:48. Janine Chittenden took first among females 55-59 with 32:12. Seth Roffey (son of Jeff Roffey, FOC) finished fifth for males 11-14 running 30:42. Josh Wise finished fourth in males 25-29 running 26:38. Travis Babcock finished sixth among male 35-39 with 31:17. Deputies Matt VanLiere (FOC) and Mike Roelofs (FOC) finished fourth and fifth respectively, with times of 24:30 and 24:57 in males 40-45. Jeff Bewalda (Juvenile Services) finished fourth for males 45-49 at 27:48 (and Bewalda went on to run another nine miles following the 5K as part of his River Run training!). Jeff Roffey (FOC) finished fifth for males 45-49 running 30:43. (If you also participated, or know a county employee who did please feel free to share your results in the comments below. With so much fantastic support, it was challenging to make note of everyone!)
Katty Shack race directors report the following numbers thus far: 262 diners and volunteers at the “Fuel Up” Spaghetti Dinner; 420 registered racers; and $12,500 raised so far for the Crime Victim Foundation ($2,500 above their projected goal with donations still coming in!) This is clearly the biggest win of all! Thank you to all who ran and walked in this event, to all who volunteered and promoted the race in the community and to all who supported the event through their monetary donations! This was truly a success because of all of your support and hard work.
By Jennell Challa, Friend of the Court