Greg Madendorp, 19, of Whitehall figured he’d left the competition in the dust at the 4-mile mark of the 6.2-mile Tri-Cities Family YMCA Coast Guard Festival 10K run Saturday.
Madendorp, who was second last year, was elated after finishing in 32:28 to outdistance the second runner to cross the finish line by over half a minute.
“I got my revenge this year,” Madendorp said. “I put in a pretty lengthy surge over those hills to break him. It worked and I just kept chugging along. I’m kind of floating on clouds right now.”
Madendorp had certainly outdistanced the rest of the lead runners, but Kevin Kearney’s tardy start cost him a possible win. Kearny, 28, of Chesterton, Ind., started about 5 minutes after Madendorp and the other front-runners led the pack out onto the course. His 32:12 was the day’s fastest time, but race organizers initially decided he should be relegated to second for his late start and later removed his name entirely from the overall results.
For complete 5K and 10K results visit Classic Race Management.
Taylor Heath, 19, of Hanover, was second in 33:03.
Saturday’s combined field of 1,662 was the largest field in the race over the last six years.
There was no doubt about who won the women’s 10K. West Ottawa grad Amber Brunmeier, 23, outdistanced Nicole Michmerhuizen, 20, of Holland, by over 2 minutes. Brunmeier crossed in 36:12, Michmerhuizen in 38:19.
“I went out conservative,” said Brunmeier. “I ran with a lot of guys and that helped a lot.”
Brunmeier, who just finished her college running career at Western Michigan, doubled up at last month’s Kalamazoo Classic, winning both the 5K and 10K. She’s training for her first marathon later this year.
Blake Rottschafer, 22, of Spring Lake, won the 5K title by an thinner margin than the wispy mustache he’s begun growing for the upcoming cross country season at Hope College.
“Hopefully, we can qualify for nationals, that’s what this ugly mustache is for,” Rottschafer said. “ ‘saches for nashies,” Rottschafer quipped. “I’m growing it for team camp. I’ll show it off and shave it down and start growing another one with everyone else.”
Rottschafer’s 16:10 finish gave him a 5-second advantage over Ahmed Elmi, 19, of Grand Rapids.
Muskegon’s ageless wonder Greg Helmer added another top 10 finish in what has been a furious comeback season. Helmer, 40, was the men’s masters winner, finishing 6th overall in 17:31.
Women’s 5K winner Erin Clason, 34, of Grand Rapids got the victory as an added bonus. “I just came out to run with my little brother. He runs for Cornerstone, so I thought I’d come out and join him.”
Clason finished in 18:42 for the win. Paige Boldt, 23, of Grand Rapids, trailed Clason across in 19:03.