Derks, Palmer win 2014 Corn Boil 5K
228 runners test themselves on the streets of Sugar Grove
SUGAR GROVE—Andy Derks made it two-for-two at the 2014 Corn Boil 5K.
After winning the event in 2013 with a time of 16 minutes, 12.1 seconds, the Sugar Grove resident won the event again this year with a time of 16:15.9.
“I moved to Sugar Grove last year, and thought it would be fun to do a race in my new hometown,” said Derks, who is also the cross country coach at Plainfield North High School. “I plan all summer to do it, but I just like to use it as a hard workout and part of my marathon training.”
Derks plans on competing in the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Yorkville resident Lena Palmer was the overall female winner. A former all-state runner with the Lady Foxes in cross country and track, the current Aurora University runner was surprised she was the female winner.
“I was pretty shocked that I won because the year that I did run it (2011), there was a lot of competition,” Palmer said. “The race didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, but it was still a pretty good race.“
Overall, 228 runners completed the race, ranging from 4-year-old Tess Muth of Yorkville (219th place; 47:33.6) to 74-year-olds Tyger Johnson of Dakota, Ill., (30th place; 23:04.7) and Phyllis Wells of Aurora (207th place, 43:25.5). The event has averaged over 257 runners per year since 2002, with the fewest running in 2002 (123) and the most in 2009 (355). The 2014 race had the fewest runners since 2010’s 224.
“We were down a little,” said Karen Pritchard, Superintendent of Recreation for the Sugar Grove Park District. “This year we didn’t have our Park District running club in the event.”
The running club brought in approximately 30 more registrations for the event.
“Maybe people thought it was going to rain,” Pritchard said. “I really thought we would have bigger numbers this year.”
Even with the slight dip in numbers, enthusiasm for the event hasn’t diminished in the eyes of Derks.
“I hope to continue to run the Corn Boil 5K every year,” Derks said. “I love the laid back atmosphere. I love the fact that I can roll out of bed and go sign up 30 minutes before the race.”