GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The winners of the 40th Fifth Third River Bank Run 5K and 10K have crossed the finish line.
In the 10K, it was Joe Niemiec of Jackson for the men with a time of 31 minutes and 39 seconds.
“Coming down the home stretch, I’m listening to the crowd. I thought it was just me. I turn the corner, someone says, ‘He’s coming!’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? What are you talking about?’ And I turn around, I never turn around in races, and I see his face like right off my shoulder,” Niemiec said. “He snuck right up on me, and I was like, ‘You’re not taking this from me.’ I said that, and just gave it the beans and thankfully I caught him on my shoulder.”
For the ladies, it was Gladys Kipsoi of Lansing. She won with a time of 34 minutes and 45 seconds.
>>Photos: Fifth Third River Bank Run 2017
In the 5K, it was a back-to-back win for Niemiec. He finished with a time of 15 minutes and 16 seconds.
“Really, I’m just racing for my wife and small boy in the ER back in Ann Arbor. Had a tough week this week, and I’m just thankful that I’m able to come out here and run. And I’m doing it for Jasmine and Henry out there,” Niemiec said at the finish line. “I’m just thankful to God for giving me these talents and you know without that and without the support of my family and my coach, my wife is my coach, and without her I wouldn’t be running anymore. So I’m running for her, I’m running for my little baby, just praying that they get better.”
For the women in the 5K, it was Mary Wangui, who is from Kenya, with a finish time of 16 minutes and 21 seconds. She told 24 Hour News 8 at the finish line that the weather was great for a race and it felt good to break away from the other racers.
Look up race results here, including video results at the finish line of all races.