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Runners, Corn Fest 5K set personal bests

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 5:18 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Top finishers among the women in the Corn Festival 5K were, from left, Kathy Laseman, third place in a time of 22:15; Megan Cinto, second, in a time of 22:05; and Tessa Wulffen, first place, with a time of 21:33.

Not only was 14-year-old Tessa Wulffen the first female to cross the finish line at the Morris Hospital’s 5K during Corn Festival Saturday, but she broke her own personal record.

Wulffen came in at 21:33. This was her 10th 5K in the last four years.

“I feel sick, but accomplished,” she said in between breaths. “I just wanted to get under 21:39.”

Wulffen was one of the more than 600 runners and walkers who participated in the hospital’s 11th annual 5K.

This amount is a record for the run, said Leigh Anne Hall, wellness manager at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers.

“It just continues to increase every year,” said Hall.

About five years ago, the hospital moved the run from near the I&M Canal to the neighborhoods around White Oak Elementary School because there was not enough room on the canal path for all the walkers and runners. The race begins and ends at the school.

Megan Cinto of Morris, who was the second-place female overall, used the run as one last practice before the Chicago Marathon this coming Sunday.

“I liked it a lot. It was my first time doing this run. I did some of the others in Morris. I think this was my favorite of all of them,” she said.

Annually, the hospital is very lucky and usually has great weather, said Hall.

“I’ve got a connection. I pray for a month before the race for the weather,” she said with a laugh.

Wendy Feeney and Rena Menozi of Morris ran the 5K together. They started running because they enjoy running on the canal.

“It’s a fun event,” said Feeney.

“And it’s great for the community, too,” added Menozi.

New this year was the hospital’s Tot Trot being held before the 5K. In previous years, it was held toward the end of the 5K, but some of the parents in the run wouldn’t make it back in time for the Tot Trot.

“It worked out really well. We had some people who came (just for the Trot Tot) then,” she said.

The Tot Trot had about 80 participants.

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