By B. W. Jacobsen

Runners gathered at the starting line at the 39th Annual Arny Johnson run/walk 10 mile and 5K was on Sunday, April 21, Woodward – Rock Cut Campus (1 Woodward Way, Loves Park.

The 39th Annual Arny Johnson run/walk 10 mile and 5K was held with 170 participants on Sunday, April 21, at 8 a.m. at Woodward – Rock Cut Campus (1 Woodward Way, Loves Park, Il 61111). This was a Rockford Road Runner sanctioned event.

The race was at the exact location as last year’s, starting and finishing at the Woodward Campus. The 5k route circles the Woodward campus, and then it goes into Rock Cut State Park along the Willow Creek Path. The 10-mile route also circles the Woodward campus and follows the Willow Creek Path and then circles the park and lake.  Significant completion of construction in Rock Cut allowed for an attractive extended route for the 10-mile runners with excellent running conditions.

The 10-mile distance, with 69 competitors, was conquered by #204 Tyler Ebany, age Division M25-29 of Roscoe, Ill. finishing 1st overall with a time of 1:00:34.  The overall 2nd place went to #215 Kaylin Carlson, age Division F35-39 of Loves Park, IL with a time of 1:05:34, topping all other females.

First place male in the age Division M40-44 and overall 3rd place went to #228 Kyle Anderson, Rockford, Ill.. with a time of 1:06:30.

Second place female overall, age Division F30-34 #208 Kathy Metzler of Roscoe, Ill. finished with a time of 1:16:30.

The 5K had a larger field of competitors with 101 entrants. Placing 1st overall was #657 Dan Palmer age Division 45-49 of Roscoe, Ill. with the fastest time of 19:14.  Coming in 2nd overall to Palmer was #607 C. Lueshen age Division M11-12 of Rockton, Ill. with a time of 21.49.  The first girl to cross the finish line was #646 Traci Bradford age Division F40-44, Machesney Park, Ill. with a time of 25:24.

Youthful performers included #711 Reese Gully age Division F13-14 with a 5K time of 28.51. Tom Baker #709 of Machesney Park was the most elite runner for his age at 81 with a 5K time of 32:00 minutes.

For many this was a big family event as there were multiple runners from families that had their own cheering fans.

Cousins Arne Jacobsen, Rockford and Teresa Jacobsen, Sycamore showed off their 1st and 2nd place medals to family members.  While they were in different age Divisions, Teresa did have a faster time than the 2nd place finisher in Arne’s age Division, so the challenge escalates for next time.

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