Balloon Challenge draws big crowd
INDIANOLA, Iowa - The National Balloon Classic kicked off in style with the annual Balloon Challenge 5K Road Roace on July 27, 2012.
The race - hosted by the Simpson cross country program - featured 201 participants from 12 states around the nation, up from 147 runners in 2011. The turnout is the biggest the Balloon Challenge has seen since the 1990s.
"I am committed to making this one of the highest-quality road races in Central Iowa," race director Ben Robison said. "I am happy with the progress we've made in just two years and I can't wait to see what the future holds."
Robison plans to expand the meet in 2013.
Timothy Shepherd, a 19-year old from Knoxville, Iowa, won the race in 16:32. Simpson alum Ryan Edwardson (22, Spencer, Iowa) placed second (16:44) and Wick Cunningham (17, Knoxville, Iowa) placed third (17:00).
On the women's side, Michelle Zikes (17, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) took the crown, finishing in 20:43. Allison Boswell (25, Ankeny, Iowa) came in second (22:17) and Jamie Johnson (32, West Des Moines, Iowa) took third (23:13).
Click here for complete race results.