TRAVERSE CITY — Calvin College was the unofficial winner of the Meijer Festival of Races 15K on Saturday.
Officially, Dan Kerr crossed the finish line first in a time of 49:14.59 and David Vandebunte came in second in 49:37.49, but both were teammates at Calvin, which had about a dozen runners compete in Saturday's Cherry Festival race.
"It's pretty cool to bring it back to the Calvin alum because I know Kris Koster has won this race a couple of times and he's from Calvin as well. It's kind of fun to bring it back to Calvin and just represent northern Michigan," said Kerr, from Petoskey.
Eileen Creutz of Saline was the first woman to cross the finish line, posting a time of 1:00:36.99, despite struggling around the midpoint of the race.
"I went out way too fast for the first two miles," said Creutz. "I had to scale it back at miles three and four. I had never run (the 15K) before so I didn't know there was that huge hill halfway through the race. I was feeling pretty bad from mile three to mile six. I felt better from mile six on."
So how did she pull through?
"I don't know," she said. "Knowing I couldn't stop until I finished. I wasn't really thinking about times. I have a garmin, but it didn't lock on to a signal so I didn't know what pace I was running the whole time until halfway through the race. I was happy around mile three just to finish. I was feeling pretty bad. As I kept going it was so motivating, all the people on the course, all the athletes that you pass and they say, 'good job' or 'keep going.'"