Firecracker 5k draws more than 300

 

More than 300 runners bolt from the start line at the Firecracker 5k Run/Walk at Manistee High School on Saturday morning. (David Navadeh/News Advocate)

More than 300 runners bolt from the start line at the Firecracker 5k Run/Walk at Manistee High School on Saturday morning.
(David Navadeh/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Even with Manistee’s Independence Day parade scheduled for right after the 2015 installment of the annual Firecracker 5k, the race drew more than 300 runners of nearly all ages and competition levels.

“We have been really steady at about 300. This year we were above that. I thought it might be a little less with the parade starting shortly after the race,” said event coordinator Eric Thuemmel. “Beautiful weather and you can’t complain about the turnout.”

For the second straight year, Manistee’s Annie Fuller led the women (20:30.3) and Donald Richmond led all runners (16:24.2).

Kim Poma won the women’s masters division (22:25.2) and Jon Lippa won the men’s masters (17:22.6).

As most runners know, small steps can bring you a long way. For the last 12 years the money raised at the event has gone toward a new track for the Manistee track and field program Thuemmel announced to the crowd that, due in part to the efforts of those running the Firecracker 5k, the track is coming.

“We are really excited. The school board and some other officials are talking and they want to start building hopefully before fall and see one in place by next summer or next fall,” Thuemmel said. “It is a community thing with everyone chipping in. It’s not a tax or a millage they had to do.

“It is just a nice feeling that to have the community behind it. I really can’t thank the local people for all the support.”

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