DEMOTTE — The 39th Annual DeMotte Rotary Ramble kicked off at 8 a.m. sharp on Saturday, Aug. 10. In just under 16-and-a-half minutes and five kilometers later the first runner crossed the finish line. The race was under the direction of Greg Fieldhouse for the second year and, just like last year, the race kicked off from just south of the intersection of Birch Street with Ninth Street.
Fieldhouse expected between 400 and 500 runners and walkers. This year, 437 competitors completed the race. The race is a special favorite for many area runners due to the interesting course and the unique wooden shoe trophies that are awarded to the top finishers in various weight classes and age groups. Times overall, this year, were faster for all due to the cooler morning and relatively low humidity.
The overall winner, for the second year in a row, was former Kankakee Valley High School standout Danny Rockley, 21, of Wheatfield, with a time of 16:23.6. Former Covenant Christian High School standout Grace DeBoer, 17, of Wheatfield, was the top female finisher with a time of 19:46.0.
Placing and showing for the males were Steven Bugarin, 33, and Bryce Noble, 15. Bugarin finished in 16:30.7 and Noble turned in an outstanding time of 16:31.3.
For the ladies, second and third overall went to Winamac’s Kate Collins, 15, with a time of 20:16.5 and Allison Rockley, 23, of Wheatfield in 20:16.6.
Other notable top-10 finishers were: Fourth: Cameron Sheehy, age 19 of DeMotte – 16:48.8; Fifth: Kohler Peterson, 17 of DeMotte – 16:51.4; Sixth: Micah Adams, 17 of DeMotte – 17:07.2; Seventh: Justin Hoffman, 15 of Wheatfield – 17.13.4; and, ninth: Ethan Tillema, 18 of Wheatfield – 17:20.4.
The youngest finisher was Evan Fieldhouse, age four of DeMotte, who finished in 36:55.1. There were 37 runners aged eight or under that competed.
The oldest finishers, male and female, were Tom Magill of Chesterton, age 90, who completed the ramble in 45:17.3, and Louise Hooper, 74, who finished in 42:32.1. Magill was the oldest participant in the Rotary Ramble last year as well. Patricia Cox, 77, was the oldest walker.
Winning the Master Runner classes were Dana Jackson, age 40, of Morton Grove, Illinois, who ran it in 21:15.3 and Paul Danger, age 48, in17:21.9.
In the 5k Walk, top walkers for the ladies were: 1st – Valerie Dykhuizen, age 48 – 37:32.0; 2nd – Cathy DeFries ,age 50 – 40:09.9; and 3rd — Tammy Hugar, age 46 – 41:22.4.
For the men, it was: 1st – Joshua Beedle, age 34 – 36:53.1; 2nd – Jim Gross, 80 – 40:26.0; and, 3rd – Ronald DeYoung , 47 – 42.49.8.
T & H Timing again provided the timing making results almost instantaneous to the runners and walkers. Complete results can be found on their website, www.thtiming.com/2017raceresults.
The Rotary Ramble was created by former Kankakee Valley Physical Education Teacher Char Groet who also was the Race Director for the first 37 years of the race before stepping down two years ago.