2,500 people take to Bowling Green streets for 10K Classic events

Josh Buckman

It was a dreary Saturday morning and the sun had yet to reveal its face.

What may be considered miserable weather to most was the ideal conditions for David Kepngtich.

The Iten, Kenya native finished an entire minute before the rest of the field on his way to winning the The Medical Center 10K Classic.

The races, which included the five-kilometer race, the 1.5 mile Fun Walk, the 10-kilometer wheelchair race and the featured 10K Classic, attracted an estimated 2,500 people. It was the 24th straight year Bowling Green has hosted the 10K Classic.

His first time competing in the 10K Classic, Kipngetich was the fastest runner in the event. He finished in 29 minutes, 12 seconds. Kipngetich trailed early but recovered to take the lead.

He said the cloudy and wet weather made the conditions ideal for racing.

For the fourth year in a row, Bern Achenbach of Snellville, Ga., won the wheelchair race.

“I got off to a pretty good start,” Achenbach said. “It’s a little difficult because the roads are a little wet.”

Achenbach has been competing in wheelchair racing for 23 years. He competes in about 12-15 races a year.

“Right now I’m practicing 120-125 miles per week,” Achenbach said. “I’ve got a marathon coming up.”

Most runners did not run to win. Carrol Kessens ran the five-kilometer race to see how healthy he was.

Kessens ran nine miles a week in preparation, but the results did not meet his expectations.

“I ran probably a little slower than I had hoped,” Kessens said.

Brent Hartz of Bowling Green participated in the Fun Walk along with employees of the Warren-Simpson-Butler County Water District. Employees represent the water district every year during the 10K Classic, but Hartz said it was his first year to participate.

“They leave it open for us every year,” Hartz said of the water district’s management. “They pay our entry fee and provide our T-shirts.”

Hartz said that he did better than he thought he would.

“I thought it felt perfect,” Hartz said.

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