A crowded square was lined with runners and onlookers as this year’s Sully Freedom Fun Run one-mile and 5K races smashed previous attendance records with 338 participants. A beautiful morning with temperatures in the 70s and a slight breeze called out veteran participants, families, and friends to run together, and many first-timers.

                Peter Bailey claimed the one-mile top finishing spot in 6:35.7. Lydia Van Ee of Otley was the top female finisher in 7:49.0. The one-mile race, with 88 runners this year, has become a special part of the morning where many young runners put on their racing shoes.

                “The one mile is fun to watch because so many young athletes are competing. Our youngest runner was just five. We love to have such a family fun event,” said Darin Arkema, race director.

                The 5K raced twice around the streets of Sully with seventeen-year-old Timothy Shepherd of Knoxville leading the pack finishing in 17:31.1. Skyler Giddings of Pella was second in 17:38.6 and Darin Schuknecht finished third in a time of 17:42.6.

                Alexa Vander Leest, of Lynnville and Lynnville-Sully cross country runner, was the top 5K female winner in 21:29.1.

                “It’s fantastic to have Alexa finish as our top female runner. I believe this is the first time that a Lynnville-Sully cross country runner has ever won the top female prize,” said Arkema, who is also the head Lynnville-Sully cross country coach.

                Lisa Vermeer of Pella finished second in 22:09.1, and Erin Jansen of Ankeny and Lynnville-Sully alum, finished third in 22:18.3.

                Besides many families starting their morning together, other groups such as the group fitness class from the Diamond Trail Fitness Center taught by Tashia Ehresman, added the event as part of their fitness routine.

                “We really want this event to be a motivation for people to get out and get moving at all age levels and abilities,” Arkema said. “As a physical education teacher as well, it’s so encouraging that each year the race continues to grow.”   

                More than 75 businesses in Sully, Lynnville, Kellogg, Grinnell, Newton, Pella, Des Moines, Williamsburg, and Coralville sponsored the race through door prizes and financial contributions. A large number of cross country parents and local volunteers helped make the race a success.

                “We really appreciate all the sponsors and volunteers,” Arkema said. “It helps keep the course safe for runners and participants enjoy receiving a door prize.”

                The Lynnville-Sully cross country and athletic fund will be receiving the proceeds from the race.

                Besides the overall one-mile and top three 5K finishers, the age group 5K awards are as follows with first place, then second place, and third place.

Male 13 and under: Jeremy Fopma 21:24.7, Dylan Van Genderen 22:06.5, Thomas Clower 22:50.3;

Female 13 and under: Camryn Russell 27:57.3, Emma Schnell 29:35.8, Hailey Scandridge 30:07.2;

Male 14 to 19: Evan Jones 18:27.3, Tanner Wanders 19:09.2, Andy Sneller 19:48.9;

Female 14 to 19: Abby Fyfe 23:00, Kelsi Vanden Hoek 25:03.4, Maddison Jansen 26:26.5;

Male 20 to 24: Joseph Bailey 20:42.5; Cameron Van Zante 22: 49.49;

Male 25 to 29: Corey Jansen 19:30.7, Reggie Hoegh 20:13.1, Josh Smith 20:19.0;

Female 25 to 29: Lynzey Gallagher 23:45.5, Leah Bruxvoort 25:10.5, Jill Oliver 28:06.4;

Male 30 to 34: Dan Gustafson 20:23.3, Robby Hoegh 20:46.3, Kyle Punt 20:53.9;

Female 30 to 34: Kristy Dee 23:23.4; Brianne Schulte 24:49.0, Heather Zylstra 25:03.1;

Male 35 to 39: Chris VerMeer 19:50.2, Brent Beyer 20:47.5, Aaron Fopma 21:24.2;

Female 35 to 39: Julie Jones 23:34.5, Angela Veenstra 25:49.9, Joy Fopma 30:49.2;

Male 40 to 44: Mike Buchheit 19:10.7, Doug Phelps 20:30.7, Greg Greenlee 22:14.8;

Female 40 to 44: Becky Watkins 24:10.8, Linda Russell 25:07.9, Teresa Hovell 29:23.7;

Male 45 to 49: Stephen Fyfe 19:34.7, Dave Watkins 20:29.4, Kenny Wanders 21:18.2;

Female 45 to 49: Ardis Giddings 25:28.5, Sharon Van Roekel 25:51, Bonita Jansen 28:02;

Male 50 to 54: Al Hibbard 19:42.1, Rob Clower 22:52, Marvin Knoot 22:58;

Female 50 to 54: Barb Baker 27:58.6, Brenda Terpstra 31:03.9, Ruth Jansen 31:42.7;

Male 55 to 59: Willie LaHart 20:03.3, Jeff Kling 26:06.5, Wes Veenstra 29:16.8;

Female 55 to 59: Jane Wickman 24:54.6, Joyce Burch 27:40.1, Nancy Vanderbroek 30:00.1;

Male 60 and over: Andrew Hazer 23:05.2, Ron Wilharm 24:45.3, Norman Vos 31:08.4

Female 60 and over: Marilyn Vermeer 23:58.3, Mary Van Steenis 25:31.8, and Connie Vos, 39:54.7.