Dane Bailey crossed the finish line at Legacy Field on Sunday, completely exhausted.
He walked about another 10 yards, to the 25-yard line of the football field and took a seat to catch his breath. Bailey had just won the 16th annual Yellow Jacket Challenge run around the Greenville Public School building complex and along the Flat River.
Madison Bouman remembers those painful runs when she was a kid. You talk back to mom and dad, you run. You do something wrong, you run. Most of the time, when a child would traditionally be grounded to their bedroom, the cliché, “Sit on your bed and think about what you’ve done,” Bouman would have to think about her running afoul with her parents while out on her run.
What was a punishment turned into a skill, a hobby turned into a talent. Bouman joined the cross county team in seventh grade at Greenville Middle School.
The Yellow Jacket Challenge returned for the first time since 2019 starting at Greenville Middle School on Sunday — with the race finishing at the 30-yard-line on the southern end of Legacy Field.
After the snowy conditions in 2019, the weather, mid-70s with a steady breeze, turned out to be fair for running conditions, leading to some fast times. Rain did hit the course throughout the race, and thunderstorms rolled in, putting a literal damper on the end of the event — but not the spirit of the day, especially in race director Penny Dora’s eyes.
Eric Hart does his calisthenics with the whole Walnut Hills Elementary Hills Running Club just as any 10-year-old would.
His left arm reaches down his left leg, stretching out the back muscles; the same motion on the right. Pulling his arms across his body the opposite way, this one to stretch out the arms and shoulders. Moving down the length of the Greenville High School gym in groups of five to get the feeling of running in the mind.
Caden Hoezee grew up wanting to be a college soccer player.
Hoezee was a three-sport athlete for Tri County and upon entering his freshman year, when he ran track, he switched his focus to running. While he excelled in soccer, by his senior year, he realized he’d made the right decision to pursue running over soccer.
The 25th edition of the Crystal Run the Lake race is set to take place Saturday and race coordinator Janet Shy said the event is seeing record numbers during registration.
There are two races within the event — one going three miles and the other going five. Both races are completed with a view of the lake the complete way. Registration for the event starts at 6:45 a.m., with the five-mile race to begin at 8. The three-mile race will begin around 9 a.m.
Claire Akin wasn’t originally setting out to pursue her running career further in college.
As she started to look for her perfect college fit, the Central Montcalm senior was getting interest from a few schools for her running ability, both in track and cross country. In talking with the colleges, she realized she wasn’t done exploring the capabilities of her running career just yet.
Last summer, after the cancellation of her track season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kim (Buskirk) Proctor was leaning toward forgoing her final year of eligibility on the Grace Christian University track team.
“It’s been a long eight years of running and a lot of ups and downs,” Proctor told the Daily News.