The Tigertown 5000 brought in over “500” athletes from the USA with “international” flavor which perfect weather conditions at race time proved to be one, if not the “fastest” race course in the midwest United States. With a “battle” for the lead throughout the 3.1 mile course by American runner Evan Gaynor against Kenyan Julius Kiptoo and two other fellow Kenyan runners exchanging leads it was a “winner takes all at the finish” as even with a 10 meter lead with 100 meters left in the race Julius Kiptoo claimed victory with a breath taking finish of 14:41, that the computer timing had to decide ! Race director Doug Desgrange was standing near the finish and watched it all unfold “It was very intense and exciting even though I seen Evan’s legs wobble as he gave it all he had!” “I thought he had it and was very surprised when I saw the final results!” The computer chip timing system was the deciding factor with Kiptoo taking Gaynor by fractions of a second!
This wasn’t the “only” excitement at Tigertown that day as there was “course record” money at stake sponsored by One Main Financial, The Henry County Bank and Ag Credit. On the women’s side, Tewabech Demse of Ethiopia smashed the previous Tigertown record set in 2012 by Dorcus Chesang of Kenya of 16:54 in a “record time” of 16:12 ! “ It was something to see the crowd come “alive” that lined the streets cheering for her” says Desgrange. For Demse’s outstanding finish time she took home a cash prize of $400.
“I knew we had a professional field of athletes coming” Desgrange goes on “These runners are a different group and like things quiet leading into the race.” In all Tigertown showcased 9 elite runners on the streets of Liberty Center and a great 5K course. Results show as 35 runners were under the 18 minute finish time and a representative from Dave’s Running Shop titled Liberty Center as a “premier course” for competition.