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Large crowd enjoys 2013 Balloon Challenge 5K Road Race

Large crowd enjoys 2013 Balloon Challenge 5K Road Race

INDIANOLA, Iowa - It was a perfect evening for a run and a great way to commence the 2013 National Balloon Classic.

A total of 125 runners took part in the annual Balloon Challenge 5K Road Race hosted by Simpson Cross Country on Friday, July 26. Competitors enjoyed unseasonably cool weather, with temperatures staying below 80 degrees.

After being discontinued late in the 2000s, the Balloon Challenge was resurrected in 2009 and has been under the direction of Simpson alum Ben Robison '10 since 2011. The race has drawn more than 120 participants in each of the last three years.

Sara Hendrickson won the women's competition, finishing in 20:02.06. Emily Hansen came in second (22:10.01) and Clare Davidson took third (23:12.85).

On the men's side, 2013 Simpson graduate Jake Sutton took the crown with a time of 16:19.34. Stacy Garrels came in second (17:31.43) and another 2013 Simpson graduate, Mitch Davis, placed third (17:47.14).

For complete results, visit the Balloon Challenge 5K Road Race website.