Heritage Fest 5K draws a crowd

More than 350 runners competed in Saturday's Heritage Festival 5K Run. None of them could keep up with Kevin Bence. Bence, of Grand Rapids, won the event for the third consecutive year, running a strong time of 17 minutes, 5 seconds on the flat, fast 5K course. "I was happy with it. It was a good run,' said Bence, 22, who ran competitively at Michigan Tech. "I've run this the last three years and it's a nice flat course. I like how small it is, plus I like winning it.'
Matt DeYoung
Jun 22, 2011

 

Bellevue’s Alec Bolthouse, 18, also a Michigan Tech student, took second overall with a time of 17:39. Third was Spring Lake’s Andrew Cole, who finished the course in 17:48.

Brianna King, 16, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was the first female finisher and the 23rd overall finisher as she came in at 19:50. Jessica Sowles, 30, of Muskegon, was next at 20:48, and Jill Evers, 44, of Kent City, was third at 21:06.

Grand Haven’s Brad Springer, 40, was the male masters’ winner at 18:26, while Spring Lake’s Cindy Kikkert-Penning, 40, was the female masters champ at 21:24.

A total of 363 runners competed in this year’s race, up from about 300 runners a year ago.

This year’s run was organized by Inspirational Racing, a local race company started by Todd and Diane Losee. All proceeds from the race benefit the Faith Marie Losee Foundation at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.

“I was real happy with the turn out,” Todd Losee said. “I thought it all went really well. The athletes seemed to be having a good time, and that’s what it’s all about, getting out there, having some fun, enjoying the day.

“For just taking over the event, I was trying to feel out what the lay of the land was, and I thought it went really well. Now we look forward to trying to grow the event in the future.”

Losee mentioned his appreciation for the race’s presenting sponsor, North Ottawa Community Health Systems.

“They came out with all their equipment and did a great job. They were a huge help for this race,” he said.

 

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