Kewash Half marathon hustles to success

WASHINGTON ? With three different distances available to run Saturday, the YMCA Kewash Half-Marathon/10k/5k hosted 347 registered runners at its fifth annual race. Of those, 182 ran the half marathon, the YMCA said in a press release.

Runners from seven different states and 62 Iowa towns endured one of three different distances available ? the 13.1 mile course or the 6.2 miles or the 3.1 miles. The route showcased some of Washington?s most attractive areas before heading out onto the Kewash Trail.

Runners started out at the YMCA on the Square and headed toward the railroad underpass and circled back to the square. They ran down the brick boulevard and headed into Sunset Park under a string of flags which represented Arkansas, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Iowa, which were the states runners were from.

The route continued on the Kewash trail before making the turn back to town. The half marathon turn around was close to West Chester. Volunteers from Kohl?s Department stores handed runners water and Gatorade as they passed by the aid stations on the trail.

Birant Akbay of Iowa City broke the Kewash Half-Marathon record, winning in a blistering time of 1 hour, 13.07 minutes. Iowa City?s Daniel Pape was second with a time of 1:13.56. Steven Wert of New Germany, Minnesota, was third in 1:26.41.

On the women?s side, Cayla Bellamy of Waterloo won with a time of 1:37:47. Brianne Cook of Iowa City was second in 1:38.5 and Erin Hill of Tiffin was third in 1:40.24.

Jeff Kreinbring of Solon won the Male Masters division in 1:28:36 and the Female Masters winner was Sarah Patterson of Newton in 1:57.34.

Many local runners came out to support this event. Angela Hazelett, Anita Moore, Brenda Kirk, Sarah Williams, and Horacio Olivo received a Kewash Finisher?s Jacket for running a half-marathon in five consecutive years. Girls-on-the-Run runners included Isabella Lujan and Emma Horak. Representatives from Let-Me-Run showed up to the start line as well.

Race directors Michelle Driscoll and Shawn Loy started preparing for this year?s run April of last year.

?There are many little details that go into planning an event like this,? Driscoll said.

?You want the runners to have a good experience and want them to come back again,? Loy said.

?I had so much fun last year, I thought what the heck, it?s an easy drive, I?ll come over and run it again,? said Paul Gilmet of Chicago.

The Washington Police Department was on Highway 1 and in town to ensure the safety of all of the runners and the Washington County Ambulance was on standby for any emergencies. The Washington County Conservation and Washington Parks Department cleared the trails. The YMCA and City Department had volunteers who came out at 5 a.m. to set up the race.

Driscoll said they are hoping the number of participants grows again next year with a goal of 500 runners.

Proceeds from this event will go to Girls-on-the-Run, Let-Me-Run, Washington Demons baseball team, and YMCA of Washington County.

The event date has been set for April 20, 2019, and registration will open up on


Half marathon age group winners:

Male Under 19 ? Logan Jones, North Liberty, 1:49:46; Age 19-29 ? Charlie Cowell, Des Moines, 1:27:06; 30-39 ? Kyle Krisher, Waterloo, 1:27:12; 40-49 ? Jeff Prier, Ainsworth, 1:37:18; 50-59 ? Blake Scranton, Springfield, IL, 1:37:0; Over 60 ? Dan Beck, Hills, 1:50:13

Female Age 19-29 ? Hayley Hershberger, Kalona, 1:42:30; 30-39 ? Jamie Nagy, Coralville, 1:45:09; 40-49 ? Leticia Perez, Berwyn, IL, 2:00:5; 50-59 ? Cathy Taylor, Cedar Rapids, 2:00:17; Over 60 ? Susan Cormier, Cabot, AR, 3:16

10K age group winners:

Overall Male ? Kaeleb Royster, Williamsburg, 37:43; Masters ? Francisco Javier, Sarriguren, Spain, 50:22; Under 19 ? Marc Estrada, Iowa, 43:31; 30-39 ? Kory Spees, Selma, 50:06; 40-49 ? Tim Schlicksup, Blue Grass, 50:48; 50-59 ? Michael Riddle, Kalona, 51:07; Over 60 ? Paul Ryan, De Witt, 51:10

Overall Female ? Kellie Howard, Des Moines, 44:53; Masters ? Marcie Atwood, Keosauqua, 58:45; Under 19 ? Sophia Murphy, Washington, 1:14:34; Age 19-29 ? Chelsea Keninger, Iowa City, 45:44; 30-39 ? Katherine Beard, Winfield, 46:33; 40-49 ? Kathy Salazar, Washington, 58:56; 50-59 ? Krista Gaal, Washington, 58:45; Over 60 ? Jill Ryan, De Witt, 1:20:15.

5K age group winners: Overall Male ? Luke Beenblossom, Iowa, 25:23; Masters ? Ji Bell, Washington, 25:45; Under 19 ? Ryan Hinson, Washington, 29:48; Age 19-29 ? Andrew Vogel, Washington, 31:55; 30-39 ? Cory Kitzman, Oskaloosa, 26:21; 40-49 ? Alex Connelly, Richland, 26:33; 50-59 ? Ross Anderson, Washington, 32:10; Over 60 ? Mike Levy, Washington, 35:37

Overall Female ? Kasey Koehler, Oskaloosa, 24:28; Masters ? Katie Lujan, Washington, 28:15; Under 19 ? Tori Hinson, Washington, 25:55; Age 19-29 ? Chelsea Saelgling, Iowa, 29:44; 30-39 ? Kimberly Prier, Ainsworth, 33:47; 40-49 ? Melanie Rothe, Washington, 30:04; 50-59 ? Diana Kerr, Oskaloosa, 29:56; Over 60 ? Leigh Wolf, Washington, 39:49