BRIDGMAN — The July 9 Bridgman 5K Run/Walk, 10K Run, and Fun Run featured a cast of hundreds and picture-perfect weather.

First to hit the streets (leaving the start/h line at Lake and Church streets about 8 a.m.) were about 40 participants in a kids’ 1.1-Mile Fun Run.

First to return was 11-year-old Colton Hahaj, who was the Fun Run defending champion and a participant in the recent camp.

Amaya Veldman, 7, placed first in the girls Fun Run. She said the race “was kind of long” butter noted that her favorite thing about the day was she got to run.

Many of those running in the day’s first event were finishing up a week of Bridgman Running Camp for first- through sixth-graders, and everyone crossing the finish line got medals from community royalty.

After the Team Triumph contingent began their 5-kilometer journey, a throng of around 200 runners and walkers hit the streets of Bridgman.

5K race winner Brian Patrick said he placed second nearly a decade ago the only other time he ran in the Bridgman summer-time event – and going into his freshman year at BHS he was runner-up to senior Cameron Bredice. Five weeks later he managed to top Bredice in the Steve’s Run at Dowagiac, but this year’s Bridgman 5K was his first victory in the local event.

Ignacio Ayesa finished third in the 5K race. The Spanish exchange student who ran at River Valley during the 2021-22 school year said he was due to fly back home on Monday, July 11.

“The first two miles I as doing fine, but then Matt DeMeulenaere (a 2022 Bridgman graduate who placed fourth) caught up to me when we had less than a mile left.”

“Shout out to the Carrs for putting on such a good event every year,” Matt DeMeulenaere said.

Bridgman High School cross country and track coach Spencer Carr said the run/walk has benefited Bridgman Public Schools programs such as athletic boosters, student government and now the programs he coaches for nearly three decades (the race was virtual in 2020).

Clara Fast was the first female 5K finisher. She is heading into her sophomore year at BHS.

“I’ve been running this 5K ever since I was really little,” she noted.

Ben Bolinder, 11, who finished the 5K run in 22 minutes and 10 seconds, said he plays a lot of soccer.

Shannon Brown of Baroda won the Bridgman 5K walk, adding that her husband (Luke), her son (Kale, a junior at Bridgman High School and her daughter (Ellie, a BHS sophomore) all participated.

And Catherine Klank of St. Joseph was tops in the 10K race, a “returning champ” who said her five children “inspire me.”

Results of the July 9 Bridgman races follow:

5K RUN – (Men) 1. Brian Patrick (16:20); 2. John Sanderson (18:22); 3. Ignacio Ayesa (18:46); 4. Matthew DeMeulenaere (18:48); 5. Max Petsovich (19:02); 6. Sebastian Kirk (19:27); 7. Austin York (19:37); 8. Jack Nicey (19:39); 9. Connor Blesy (20:19); 10. Jay Fast (20:22).

5K RUN – (Women) 1. Clara Fast (21:27); 2. Jennifer Mockler-Grotegut (23:40); 3. Tara Sabo (24:05); 4. Stacy Barker (26:22); 5. Amanda Vekdman (26:24); 6. Robyn Ryan; 7. Poppy Newman; 8. Isabelle Cammilleri; 9. Carla Herrman; 10. Lauren Hays.

10K RUN – 1. Catherine Klank (40:37; 2. Michal Cammilleri (41:32); 3. Scout Newman (44:06); 4. Lance Dellay (44:11); 5. Curtis Peterson (45:54); 6. Brian Ellerbrook; 7. Dennis Tuckowski; 8. Jose Aranda; 9. Benjamin Sanders; 10. Rebecca Smith.

5K WALK – 1. Shannon Brown (37:51); 2. Madilynn Rindfield (40:53); 3. Lacey Lucas (40:54); 4. Eugene Schoon (42:01); 5. Bruce Skilton (42:40); 6. Alison Skilton (42:41); 7. Mike Chapman; 8. Judy Kubsch; 9. Lori Wesner; 10. Ada Klint.

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