More than 100 people compete in 2020 GRA 5K on Saturday

Organizers cancel the 10K portion of the annual AuSable River Festival event, but proceed with 5K race using social distancing measures
Grayling Recreation Authority conducted the 5K portion of its annual GRA 10K/5K on Saturday, and 116 runners competed in the event. Organizers cancelled the 10K portion of the race series due to the coronavirus pandemic, but decided to proceed with the 5K option due to the shorter distance and significantly smaller number of volunteers needed for the event.
The GRA 10K/5K is held every year during the AuSable River Festival on the day of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, a 120-mile nonstop race from Grayling to Oscoda. This year, due to COVID-19, both the festival and the Marathon were cancelled.
Grayling Recreation Authority added the 5K race to the annual 10K event in 2014 due to requests from participants for a shorter option, and the addition of the 5K race gave the event an immediate increase in participation.
The GRA 10K/5K had more than 170 runners in 2014, approximately 170 finishers in 2015, more than 180 people in 2016, 140 runners in 2017, more than 160 finishers in 2018, and close to 150 runners in 2019.
This year’s number – 116 runners – was high, especially considering the current circumstances with COVID-19.
“We really didn’t know what to expect,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for Grayling Recreation Authority. “We’re excited. Glad to have an event finally. It shows people are ready to start doing stuff.”
Andre said GRA “tried to get everybody to register online” in an effort to avoid lines and transactions on the morning of the race. He said online registrations accounted for the first 77 runners to sign up, and the rest registered on race day.
The GRA 10K/5K has had a few different courses over the last several years.
In 2002 through 2009, the 10K course started and ended at Grayling High School’s track and utilized part of the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike, a paved path for nonmotorized traffic.
In 2010, organizers moved the GRA 10K back into town to be closer to AuSable River Festival events. The race started and ended near Grayling Middle School in 2010 through 2015.
In 2016, due to road construction projects in town, Grayling Recreation Authority had to move the 10K/5K, and organizers opted for Hanson Hills Recreation Area, GRA’s base of operation, for the venue change. It was intended as a temporary switch, but participants liked the new course, and GRA decided to keep the 10K/5K at Hanson Hills.
Last year, for the 5K course, runners went out of Hanson Hills, left onto Old Lake Road, right onto M-93, right onto the sidewalk along M-72, right onto Old Lake Road at Northbound Outfitters, and then back to Hanson Hills Recreation Area to finish the loop. This year’s 5K featured the same course.
Andre said GRA worked with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department while making plans for the 2020 race, and the department gave organizers the “thumbs up” to have the 5K event. Deputies were present to help with traffic control on Saturday.
Andre said GRA opted for a “no frills” approach for this year’s event in order to maintain social distancing, eliminating the awards ceremony and opting for “finisher medals” for participants. Organizers distributed the medals before the race so racers wouldn’t have to congregate after the event.
GRA planned to run one or two mass starts depending on how many people signed up for the race, but with Saturday’s race day registration surge, organizers opted for three different waves. Andre said organizers tried to run an “efficient” race while maintaining “social distance” as much as possible. A few of the runners wore masks during the race.
“We’re trying our best to streamline everything and hold a good event,” Andre said.
Jorden Wakeley won the 2020 GRA 5K, finishing almost 2.5 minutes faster than any other competitor. He posted a final time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds.
Sophia Rhein won the women’s division with a time of 18 minutes, 50 seconds. Overall, Rhein posted the event’s fourth best time.
 
2020 GRA 5K Results (Courtesy of Grayling Recreation Authority)
 
Overall 624 Jorden Wakeley M30-39 16:06.7
Overall 684 Sophia Rhein F15-19 18:50.1
 
1 613 Grace Slocum F14-under 20:44.3
2 708 Rylee Duffing F14-under 23:45.8
3 710 Grace Moeffenborg F14-under 24:10.8
4 620 Morgan Thayer F14-under 26:40.7
5 695 Ragan Kies F14-under 27:34.5
6 700 Aubrey Swiderski F14-under 33:16.4
7 618 Lily Jablonski F14-under 33:55.9
8 604 Lidiana Rochon F14-under 40:27.1
 
1 614 Joshua Slocum M14-under 18:26.1
2 696 Caleb Kies M14-under 18:46.6
3 686 Bradley White M14-under 19:38.4
4 615 Drew Moore M14-under 19:48.9
5 682 Tony Stevenson M14-under 21:42.4
6 697 Samuel Kies M14-under 21:55.4
7 619 Olin Kasperowicz M14-under 21:57.7
8 605 Sam Patterson M14-under 23:53.8
9 680 Owen Read M14-under 25:55.7
10 678 Jacob Marshall M14-under 26:03.5
11 690 Blake Binger M14-under 27:02.6
12 687 Jack Jablonski M14-under 38:37.3
13 612 Reid Binger M14-under 50:12.4
 
1 610 Ella Baryo F15-19 19:59.5
2 616 Haley Cooper F15-19 25:59.5
3 617 Katelyn Moore F15-19 26:37.1
4 689 Reaegan Blackwell F15-19 26:46.4
 
1 706 Cole McMillan M15-19 19:35.6
2 606 Judge Morgan M15-19 20:42.3
3 677 Dylan Engles M15-19 21:47.6
4 705 Connor Boyle M15-19 22:28.5
5 679 Brady Read M15-19 24:49.6
6 603 Luke Leslie M15-19 25:43.0
7 600 Cole Binger M15-19 37:06.0
 
1 607 Meghan Gamrat F20-29 28:15.3
 
1 621 Austin Hille M20-29 22:37.8
2 611 Vincent De Zaeytydt M20-29 22:57.9
3 608 Seth Patterson M20-29 23:55.5
4 602 Tyler McClanahan M20-29 24:54.3
5 716 Nate Greeley M20-29 26:56.6
6 693 Jake Swander M20-29 33:21.4
7 707 Lucas Walesky M20-29 34:50.5
8 685 Jacob Halliday M20-29 37:14.6
 
1 640 Sarah Diegel F30-39 20:20.3
2 645 Adriana Fowler F30-39 22:35.0
3 641 Jess Gabriel F30-39 25:28.0
4 702 Jen Swope F30-39 26:11.3
5 646 Evonda Thayer F30-39 26:25.7
6 639 Sara Andre F30-39 27:57.9
7 623 Erika Alworden F30-39 41:55.6
8 634 Nichole Witer F30-39 48:24.4
9 625 Barbara Kukulski F30-39 1:03:13
 
1 637 John McShane M30-39 19:03.7
2 711 Ryan Halstead M30-39 20:04.0
3 701 Ryan Swope M30-39 25:50.9
4 626 Matt Gabriel M30-39 26:32.0
5 648 Kyle Denholm M30-39 28:39.8
 
1 709 Julie Duffing F40-49 26:57.9
2 642 Jeanette Dossin F40-49 28:26.3
3 694 Susan Kies F40-49 34:14.2
4 650 Joelen Kersten F40-49 36:01.2
5 629 Lori Richards F40-49 36:28.1
6 647 Rachel Halliday F40-49 37:22.1
7 635 Julie Brown F40-49 39:16.1
8 627 Sarah Gauthier F40-49 39:20.2
9 655 Sara Orrys F40-49 49:56.1
10 649 Magin Binger F40-49 50:14.5
11 654 Terri Stoecker F40-49 1:05:00
12 636 Sherri Hoffman F40-49 1:05:56
 
1 714 Jason Brigham M40-49 20:18.6
2 630 Thomas Read M40-49 20:50.0
3 698 David Kies M40-49 21:24.4
4 631 Brian Martin M40-49 24:29.4
5 651 Jason Burkhardt M40-49 27:17.5
6 638 Mike Macfalda M40-49 28:22.6
7 628 Travis Potter M40-49 29:05.0
8 632 Joe Gamrat M40-49 31:30.6
9 652 Bradley Binger M40-49 32:13.6
10 699 Michael Kies M40-49 32:57.5
11 633 Denver Rochon M40-49 40:51.5
12 653 Joe Witer M40-49 48:20.1
 
1 713 Gayle Harbaugh F50-59 31:14.4
2 666 Kris Bullock F50-59 1:00:45
 
1 683 Ron Callen M50-59 22:38.5
2 667 Greg Mills M50-59 23:57.0
3 712 Brian Aimesbury M50-59 24:16.3
4 688 Terry Myers M50-59 25:52.6
5 661 Don Vyverberg M50-59 26:20.0
6 664 Andy Arney M50-59 26:24.0
7 673 John Haven M50-59 28:24.3
8 704 John Ferrell M50-59 29:46.4
9 662 Lance Davis M50-59 31:19.8
 
1 681 Lynette Heinlein F60-69 28:09.8
2 669 Teresa Martin F60-69 29:26.7
3 691 Fay McHaney F60-69 42:38.5
 
1 703 Scott Kuyawa M60-69 23:04.0
2 715 Jim Gardner M60-69 27:35.5
3 657 Richard McCarter M60-69 27:51.8
4 659 Craig Denholm M60-69 28:41.4
5 658 Alan Heidt M60-69 30:50.4
6 674 Pete Buccos M60-69 31:12.2
7 670 Frank Johnson M60-69 31:53.1
8 663 Dave Maddix M60-69 33:43.5
9 675 Mike Anglin M60-69 39:53.1
 
1 672 Dorothy Johnson F70-79 42:49.3
 
1 671 Mark Jurkovich M70-79 25:20.3
2 692 Bruce McHenety M70-79 31:10.5

 

Crawford County Avalanche

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Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806
E-Mail: information@crawfordcountyavalanche.com

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