Ideal weather conditions greeted the runners for the 2019 Willow River Run on Thursday, a year after torrential storms forced cancellation of the race.
Bailey Wilson of New Richmond broke away from the pack at the start and never let up in winning this year’s race. Wilson recorded a winning time of 16:18. Wilson was also the race champion in 2017. Recent Minnehaha Academy graduate Max Gifford finished in second place in 17:40.
McKenzie Kelly Klitz was the first female finisher, placing third overall. She finished in 19:37, breaking the record in the women’s 25-29 age class by almost a minute.
Race director Steph Hoff said there were a number of bright spot to the event. There were 84 runners who completed the course, with an age range from the youngest runner at 8 years old to the oldest runners at 71 years old. She praised the support of local businesses to make it possible for dozens of door prizes to be given out following the race.
Another highlight was 14 the willow tree sculptures that were given to the race champions and age group champions. The sculptures are the creation of local artist Madeline Brugler.
Each year, a large percentage of the race fees are donated to the New Richmond Pathways Committee. Hoff said she hopes to have all the details on the final donation by the end of the month. She also donated all of the left over food from the race to Grace Place.
Here is a link to the full results from the race: https://www.newrichmond.k12.wi.us/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=14&ModuleInstanceID=1905&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=15491&PageID=21