Nearly 190 Brave Heat to Run or Walk in Brownville’s Freedom Run
When at 7 a.m. on the 4th of July, the 1840’s Brownville cannon boomed the start of the tenth annual Brownville Freedom Run, the temperature was edging up toward a humid 80 degrees.
Dedicated runners and walkers will brave all weather conditions for their passion.
Knowing the dangers of heat, humidity and bright sunlight on those out on the 3.1 mile, 6.2 mile or 13.1 mile course, the Freedom Run participants were cautioned not to worry about breaking any world records and to partake of the plentiful water and sports drink provided along the route.
The four ambulances available — two from Pro-Med and one each from Brownville and Nemaha — had paramedics and EMTs ready to handle the runners’ possible heat problems. Thankfully there were few heat related illnesses and every one of the 187 runners/walkers returned safely home.
The Run taking place in mid-week meant the number of participants most likely would have been lower than in years past. A surge of day of the event registrations was a pleasant surprise for the Freedom Run organizers. Again in 2012, the overwhelming number of runners and walkers were Nebraskans living within a 70-mile radius of Brownville. People from 15 other states and two Canadian provinces also came to the small but popular 4th of July event.
In the 5K run, the overall winner was Nick Meyer, age 17, of Auburn,. He was followed closely by Devin Anderson, 18, of Nemaha. Fifteen-year-old Melissa Davison of Auburn was the overall female first place 5K runner followed by Sandy Bradley, also of Auburn.
In the 10K event, Travis Sabatka, 15, from Plattsmouth, placed first. The first female at the 6.1 mile distance was Natalie Christiansen, Blair.
Forty-eight year old Todd Nott, Plattsmouth, paced the Half Marathon men, followed closely by 17 year old Bobby Russell from Bellevue. Third place overall in the Half Marathon went to Amber Paterson from Lincoln. Auburn’s Katy Billings was the second female to cross the finish line.
Placing highly in the female 5K standings in the 40-49 age grouping were Bradley, Julie Keller, Stella, and Lori Broady of Johnson.
In the 50+ female 5K group Deb Grotrian, Johnson, and Deb Brakhahn of Auburn did well.
Men in the 5K 20-29 age grouping saw Cody Bradley, Auburn, and Matt Heskett, Nemaha, place in their bracket. Former Brownville native Dan Hayes placed well in the 30-39 age group.
Female 10K runners finishing near the top in their age groups were Jessica Gentert, Johnson, and Micaela Kubik, formerly of Auburn.
Mark Kubik, Auburn placed first in the 50+ category.
Table Rock’s April Binder placed second to Katy Billings in the age 30-39 category in the Half Marathon. Ralph Drier from Auburn, a perennial half marathon runner at Brownville, finished second in the 50+ age group.
The Brownville Freedom Run organizers would like to thank all of the friendly volunteers, the generous sponsors, and the loyal runners and walkers for their efforts to make the 2012 Run a success. A special acknowledgement is extended to Nora Tallmon for her work on the Freedom Run website.