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2018-07-11 / Sports

166 Compete in Black Bear Run

by Stephen King


Black Bear runners take off. 
photo by Steve King Black Bear runners take off. photo by Steve King The 36th running of the Black Bear Run took place as part of the Fourth of July festivities in Naubinway. The race originated as a way for its sponsor, the Engadine Sports Boosters, to raise money, and has become a staple in the Independence Day celebration.

From the beginning it has been successful in drawing runners from not only this area, but from far away as well. Over the years competitors have traveled from all 50 states and many foreign countries. This year had runners registered from 14 different states.

Those runners compete in three classes: the 6-K Run, 6-K Walk and 12-K Run. The 6K races start at the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club airport, while the 12- K Run begins at Engadine High School. The finish line for all races is at the ball field in Naubinway.

Chris Huffman of Monclova, OH crossed the finish line first in the 6-K event with a time of 24:32.3.

Mallory Munderloh of Saint Louis was first for the women with a time of 26:55.1. She runs for Alma College and has a history of competing in both high school and college. This is the first time she has won this race.

“This was really a lot of fun. I loved the trails and the sandy roads and all of the trees,” commented Munderloh. “They told me that this would be very challenging, and it was. The hills made it interesting, but I really enjoyed running here today and hopefully will be able to come back and compete again.”

Kevin Riley of Wheaton, IL was first in the 12-K Run with a time of 45:04.1, while Wendy Snyder of Moran crossed first for the women with a time of 1:02:14.3.

According to Snyder, “This is my third or fourth time running here, and the first time that I’ve won. It feels really great to be able to do this at my age (42). I want thank everyone involved. This is a great race.”

Nathan Corey of Chanhassen MN won the 12-K Walk with a time of 46:11.6. Lillian Witt, 69 years old of Middletown, Oh, was first for the women with a time of 51:53.2.

This year the youngest runner was six-year-old Luna Fischer of Rockford. The oldest competitor was 80-year-old Sue Bergacker of Engadine.

Sport’s Boosters president Amy Zdebski, stated, “Without our volunteers, we could never make it happen. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, and the money we make here helps to support the sports program at Engadine. We love seeing all the runners come here for this. As long as they keep wanting to come, we’ll keep this race going.”

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