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M-231 runners cooled by rain

Becky Vargo • Oct 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Heavy rain chilled the runners just before the start of the M-23.1K run Saturday morning, but organizers said the Ottawa County event was still a success.

Around 270 runners participated in the 14-mile event, held for the second year on M-231 – the two-lane highway that connects M-104 to Lake Michigan Drive (M-45).

Some of those runners participated in relay teams of three people, running a segment of the race instead of the entire 14 miles, said race co-chairman Shannon Felgner.

“Runners are a pretty committed group,” Felgner said after the race got underway. “They show up.”

More photos from Saturday’s run

The race, in its second year, was open to 500 runners after being limited to 300 last year 

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t fill up, but we’re grateful for the people who did show up,” Felgner said.

Tim Kragt, 32, of Hudsonville won the event in 1:34:17. Kim Barnes, 42, of Hastings was the fastest female in 1:51:21.

Jeff Smucker, 50, of Grand Haven was the male masters winner in 1:40:01 and Tammy Schloff, 48, of Clarkston was the female masters winner in 2:00:39.

Team JLT Run4Fun (Julie Lamer, Lanae Nagelkirk and Dan Wilkins) won the coed relay, while Team Fit Chicks (Kristin Grek, Jennifer Sorber and Michele Schipma) took the female relay race 

The male relay race was won by Team Boot Camp Brothers (Chris Fox, William Roesener and Kevin Berko.

Felgner said 37 teams participated in the relays with runners doing a 6, 4-8 or 3.7-mile segment.

“This makes it accessible for all levels,” she said.

Organizers said about 100 people also attended the awards party after the event at the Pipeline Smokehouse and Bar  - making that another successful event

Felgner said they plan to ask the Michigan Department of Transportation if they can hold the race again next year.

Last year’s event raised about $9,000 for Ottawa County’s non-motorized pathway system 

Felgner said she expected the amount to be pretty close to the same this year.

Complete race results are available at:

http://georesults.racemine.com/Igniteyoureventcom/events/2016/M-231k-Run/results

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