Greenville High School senior Micah Bouman became king of the hill, beating the field and the famed Marvel Drive hill near the finish line to win the Spectrum Health Danish Dash on Aug. 17.
Bouman finished first overall with a time of 17 minutes, 46.8 seconds in the event during Greenville’s Danish Festival weekend.
A member of the cross country team, Bouman trains on the hill one day each week, sprinting up the hill about a dozen times and jogging to the bottom.
“I know it,” he said. “The hill is tough.”
Bouman took the lead about a half mile into the race and never looked back, beating second-place finisher Braydon Border who finished in 17 minutes, 53.9 seconds. Camryn Klein was the top female finisher, posting a winning time of 23 minutes, 39.8 seconds.
More than 300 participants attended the event, which features a 5K run, 1-mile walk, 1/2-mile kids fun run and the annual Dress Like a Dane contest. View the complete race results.
“It was a beautiful morning for a race and it was so nice seeing so many families participating,” said Spectrum Health United Hospital chief operating officer Percy Mahar. “We’re happy to sponsor an event that promotes health. That’s obviously what we’re all about it.”
For United Hospital nurses Ashley Adams and Ashleigh Roy, it was their first Danish Dash and something healthy to do together, joining a group of nurses from United Hospital who decided to run for fun.
Roy, running in her first 5K, said the run was fine for the first 2 1/2 miles. “Then I got to Marvel Hill and it wasn’t good,” she said laughing. “I had to stop and start going up the hill—it’s so big.”
Adams enjoyed the course that took runners past Greenville’s Tower Park and around Manoka and Baldwin lakes.
“I loved the scenery and all the encouragement from people throughout the race,” she said. “It felt great, but Marvel Hill is a doozy!”
Adams and Roy said they’d do the race again, but both agreed they need to train more to be better prepared.
Maybe the most prepared runner of the day was 73-year-old running veteran Don Harp, the first runner to arrive on race day, showing up at what he called “zero dark hundred” to run part of the course before the event.
Harp, a 36-year veteran of the U.S. Army, runs in 75 to 100 races each year. He said he’s known throughout the area as “marathon man,” “running man,” or just Don, who ran with his trademark American cap.
Harp won the over 70 male division with a time of 27 minutes, 45.5 seconds.
Harp said he’s been running his whole life. “Because it’s fun,” he said simply.
Eight-year-old Ben Wood, running in his first 5K race, agreed.
“It was really fun,” he said, after finishing the race with his mother, Katie.
“He made me work for it,” Katie said, an experienced runner who grew up in Greenville.
The Woods live in Massillon, Ohio, but were in town for the Danish Festival visiting family.
Amy Shinabarger defended her title from last year, winning the Dress Like a Dane contest, running the course in stylish Danish attire.
The Spectrum Health YMCA Veggie Van was on hand providing bags of fresh fruit and vegetables to runners and spectators.
Next year’s race is scheduled for Aug. 22, 2020.