The weather was perfect: Clear skies, dry conditions and temperatures in the low 70s as the 40th annual Popeye 5K Race, competitive walk and 1.5-mile Fun Run opened on Saturday.
While pre-registrations were healthy, another 25-30 runners impulsively signed up Saturday morning.
So when Chester Mayor Tom Page kicked off the race at 8 a.m. with his voice countdown and air horn blast, there were 141 5K runners, 35 competitive walkers, and 63 fun runners/walkers.
Juli Stults, (the former Juli Koenegstein of Chester), and Josh Maier of Carbondale were the overall 5K winners. Stults, 32, now of Cape Girardeau, won the female division with a time of 19:04.4. Her average race pace was 6:09 minutes per mile. Stults also finished second among all 141 5K racers.
Maier, 23, was the overall winner of the 2019 5K with a time of 16:04.3 and an average pace of 5:11 minutes per mile.
Rounding out the Top 5 in the female division: Sabrina Hall of Carbondale, 2nd; Marci Klein of Sparta, 3rd; Chelsea Grither of Murphysboro, 4th; and Jenna Hammel of Campbell Hill, 5th.
The Top 5 male finishers were Matt Seymour of Chester, 2nd; Brian Carter of St. Louis, 3rd; Justin Massey of Chester, 4th; and Mark Chapman of Makanda, 5th.
14 and younger: Gabriel Coffman (1st, 22:24.2).
15-19: Damien Fernandez (2nd, 27:00.6); Mitchell Colonel (3rd, 29:57.3)
20-24: Edward Kerkhover (2nd, 25:47.1)
25-29: Joe Allison (2nd, 28:15.4); Derek Surman (3rd, 30:53.9)
30-34: Josh Chambers (1st, 21:03.5): Max Wetstein (23:36.8); Josh Cox (4th, 25:23.8); Ryan Gibbs (26:14.0) and Aaron Patterson (6th, 26:43.8)
35-39: Chad Ashley (1st, 23:23.0); Shawn Bert (2nd, 23:24.3); Jace Wilderman (4th, 25:14.1); Trevor Karius (9th, 40:55.3)
40-44: Grady Misselhorn (2nd, 24:35.0); Jason Helmers (3rd, 25:05.5); Josh Berry (4th, 26:03.2)
45-49: Scott Buckner (22:13.6); Dan Menner (40:42.5)
50-54: Ron Hillerman (2nd, 23:59.5); Patrick Huether (3rd, 24:46.8)
60-64: Jerry Meyer (1st, 21:52)
65-69: Rich Bauer (1st, 24:11.6); Dale Volle (3rd, 33:38.6)
14 and younger: Aubrey Coleman (2nd, 28:04.7); Lexie Mott (3rd, 29:24.6); Adelynn May (4th, 29:55.6)
15-19: Madison Kribs (2nd, 28:35.9)
20-24: Holly Hartman (1st, 31:30.6); Maribeth Golding (2nd, 35:06.7); Lacey Reynolds (3rd, 42:11.3)
30-34: Millie Patterson (4th, 27:26:0); Michelle Rust (6th, 28:46.5); Tara Ticer (7th, 28:49.1); Brandy Maes (33:32.2); Kaile Eggemeyer (35:06.2)
35-39: Mariah Bargman (3rd, 27:06.7); Amanda Wilderman (34:34.8)
45-49: Dawn Turner (34:36.6)
50-54: Rhonda Bockhorn (3rd, 30:16.6); Jennifer Hecht (37:37.4); Angela Nordmeyer (6th, 40:04.9)
55-59: Marla Rathjen (1st, 23:26.2); Rhonda Kerkhover (5th, 32:17.3)
60-64: Cheryl Adams (3rd, 44:02.0)
Overall male finisher was Tom Chapman, 65, of Salem (31:12.5). Overall female finisher was Wendy Santi, 61, of Toronto, Ontario (35:00.2). The only local competitor in the male division was Peter Dirks of Chester (45:51.7).
24 and younger: Hayden Gibbs (1st, 43:54.8)
25-35: Lacey Hartman (1st, 43:35.1); Bethany Berner (2nd, 43:45.0); Melissa Cushman (3rd, 43:45.2); Jessica McAdams (4th, 48:37.6).
46-55: Becky Dudenbostel (1st, 42:29.4); Rose Baughman (2nd, 42:29.6); Terri Hartman (3rd, 45:10.5).
56-69: Kathy Lowry (3rd, 39:06.8); Linda Stern (5th, 44:27.4).