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IMG9211   Conditions were close to the same as last year’s Santa run/walk 5K road race: cold and windy, but sunnier this year over the last.
   The Breese Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event, which began and ended, like last year, at Bent Oak Golf Course.
   Chamber President Angie Wurtzler welcomed the runners, thanking them for coming out in the winter-esq weather where they were about to run what turned out to be 2.8 miles on an open course.
   Wurtzler said they had 50 registered runners and 33 who were willing to brave the cold wind.
   Wurtzler said organizers appreciated peoples' patience while the kinks were worked out of the race timing.
   Runners took off from the parking lot at the golf course, winding their way through Breese, along South Broadway, to South Walnut Street to South Second Street, up South Clinton Street to North Third Street, then down South Main Street  and back to Broadway and home. 
   Adults took home a one-size-fits-all Santa suit — cap, coat, pants and belt — and many ran with some or all of the costume on. Children took home an elf hat.
   Entrants also took home a swag bag which included a lanyard and clip, sunglasses, discount coupons and other items.
   Breese native Zach Huelskamp, 25, was the overall winner, finishing in 16:33.60.
   Second place went to Breese’s Noah Hunt, 16, in 16:45.88; and third place went to Breese’s Blake Heimann, 15, in 17:49.94.
   The top female finisher was Marlie Haag, 13, finishing in 24:17.63; with second place going to sister Finley Haag, 13, in 24:19.92; and third place going to Emily Gall, finishing in 25:20.09.
   Winners, by age groups, were:
   • 5-13 female: first, Haley Klostermann, 12, 26:05.09 
   • 5-13 male: first, Chase Heimann, 12, 21:36.64 
   • 14-19 female: first, Brianna Noud, 16, 26:05.71
   •14-19 male: first, Aidan Diesen, 17, 18:28.00
   • 20-39 female: Jenny Diechmann, in 33:10.38
   • 20-39 male: Austin Speer, in 42:33.10
   • 40-60 female: first, Louella Hollenkamp, 27:24.31; second, Cheryl Timmermann (no time given.)
   • 40-60 males: Robbie Von Alst, 18:33.99
   Marlie Haag, Huelskamp, Diechmann, Speer, Hollenkamp and VonAlst took home $25 in Chamber Bucks.
   Finley Haag, Hunt, Klostermann, Chase Heimann, Noud and Diesen took home a 12-pack of Ski soda from Excel Bottling.
   Medals went to the overall finishers for first, second and third places.
   Wurtzler, following the awarding of prizes, joked that next year they’ll be running in July.
   Wurtzler kept times at the race’s end as Chamber board member Abby Frank pulled the tags from runners’ bibs for the final tally of race times.
   Turf Bar and Banquet made the food for the event, Events & Essentials donated fruit, Kaskaskia College donated granola bars and Country Financial - AnneMarie Toeben donated bottled water.

   The swag bag donations were from Dieterich Bank, HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital-Breese, AVH Ink and Vinyl, Kaskaskia College, Bradford National Bank, Apex Network, Turf Bar and Banquet and Southern Bus and Mobility.