LA SALLE COUNTY — It had been three years since the Starved Rock Country Marathon and Half Marathon had been able to run its full complement of three races — a 5K, a half marathon and the centerpiece of La Salle County’s day celebrating running, the full, 26-2-mile Starved Rock Country Marathon.
For the 74 full marathon, 235 half marathon and 101 5K runners who crossed the finish line Saturday on the Ottawa riverfront, it was good to have things, for the most part, back to normal.
Ben Kipp, of Waukee, Iowa, ran the 26.2 miles from downtown Ottawa through Starved Rock State Park and back in 2 hours, 59 minutes, 41.5 seconds Saturday to claim the overall Starved Rock Country Marathon championship.
“I was interested in the hills and trying to run a challenging [marathon] this spring,” Kipp said. “I’ve got four little [children] here, and they wanted to check out the water park. So we’re staying at the Grand Bear resort. They’re swimming, and I’m running. ...
“[The course] was beautiful all the way through, awesome views of the water, trees, tons of scenery, and it’s really challenging with the hills. ... It’s really a gorgeous course and a lot of fun.”
Angie Lampi, of Dexter, Mich. — like Kipp, also a first-time entrant in the SRC Marathon — finished fifth overall and first among women in 3:33:01.2.
“I was looking for a race that would allow me to qualify for [the] Boston [Marathon] next year,” Lampi said. “My long runs have been fast lately ... so I signed up at the last minute, and I’m glad I did.”
There was an over 15-minute wait between Kipp’s finish and the next full marathon finisher, Justin Seno (3:15:01.5), of Champaign, Ill. Seno, however, wasn’t the least bit upset with his finish.
“They canceled the Champaign marathon, I was already about six weeks into training, and I found this one,” said Seno, who was running his first marathon. “So I just extended my training and came up here to do it.
“It was an amazing course, great volunteers, my family came out to support me. It was a lot of fun.”
The wait between Lampi and the second women’s finisher, Lana Lazaridis (3:34:18.9), of Scaumburg, Ill., was much, much shorter.
“I had a really good first half, but then kind of blew up a little bit,” Lazaridis said. “But it was still awesome, the beautiful scenery and everything.”
The top 10 behind Kipp and Seno in order included Jeremiah Gibbons (3:19:15.4), Kyle Swift (3:26:45.5), Lampi, Lazaridis, seventh-place Ricardo Bucio (3:42:39.5), Samantha Wassel (3:44:38.7), Shelly Gore (3:45:53.2) and Jeffrey Foes (3:48:07.2).
From there the other competitors coming in under 4 hours, 30 minutes did so in this order: Bryan Esarco, Owen Miller, Scott Gerretse, Jimmy Raffelson, Jonathon Hofmeister, Andy Feliksiak, Steven Holcomb, Kiley Booker, Luke Giambrone, Brook Stanbary, Camden Dodge, Ryan Boggiano, Nathan Campbell, Paul O’Neill, Michael Driscoll and Nicholas Orr.
Prior to the two-year hiatus due to efforts to contain COVID-19, the Starved Rock Country Marathon had been run annually since 2014.
• Seatonville’s Jordan Rick (1:27:32.9) ran away with the Starved Rock Country Half Marathon overall title. The next two finishers were both locals — race runner-up Abe Fisher (1:34:55.8), of Ottawa, and top overall female finisher Kim Foster (1:35:31.6), also of Ottawa.
Other area competitors placing in the overall top 25 of the SRC Half Marathon included Tonica’s Troy Johnson (6th, 1:39:38.4), Ottawa’s Don Kiesig Jr. (7th, 1:41:16.6), Oglesby’s Juan Leg (8th, 1:41:22.6), Ottawa’s Sean Manley (9th, 1:42:20.8), Spring Valley’s Ashley Spanos (18th, 1:47:44.3) and Peru’s David Schmitt (21st, 1:49:23.4).
• Plainfield’s Tristian Bennis (19:58.3) finished first to win the Run Starved Rock Country 5K, with four locals — Ottawa’s Lucas Farabaugh (20:27.7), Marseilles’ Chad Kovash (20:50.0), La Salle’s Joe Bornac (21:46.5) and Ottawa’s Blake Baker (22:04.7) — rounding out the top five.
Princeton’s Lauren Widmer (24:48.1), Princeton’s Abby Vladika (24:49.9) and Streator’s Charlene Hamann (25:45.9) were the 5K’s top three female finishers.