Ad Spot

Frigid 5k competitors fight through tough conditions

NILES — More than 360 runners and walkers braved cold temperatures, rain, slush and the occasional ice patch to compete in the 11th annual Niles Frigid 5K hosted on Saturday.

Due to safety conditions with the St. Joseph River, a course change added an additional unforeseen element to the race. As runners crossed the finish line, they were rewarded with chili made by Fairland Christian Church.

Paul Johnson, 35, of St. Joseph, was the first race finisher of the 5K with a time of 18:05.

“I’ve run this race a lot of times,” Johnson said near the finish line. “I know Chris and Keri who put on the race and a bunch of our friends run it.”

Chris Pawielski, the owner of Inertia Cycleworks, 211 E. Main St., Niles, has organized the race with his wife, Keri, for the past couple of years.

For the past six years, Johnson has gotten used to finishing in second or third, but this year, his biggest competition failed to show up.

Johnson, who participates in the Niles Frigid 5K annually, is an infrequent 5K runner.

“I do ultra-marathons, which really don’t exist around here,” he said. “This is my rare 5K.”

The standard definition of an ultramarathon is anything past a traditional marathon of 26.2 miles, Johnson said.

The St. Joe native has been a runner for many years and usually heads out west to compete in ultramarathons.

Despite his ultra-running routine, Johnson said 5K races are still difficult no matter where you are.

Overall, Johnson felt Saturday’s race conditions were better than expected.

“I thought it was fast for the conditions,” he said. “It really varies for this race. You could be running 17 minutes or 19:30 and both might feel good depending on the conditions.”

Kimberly Law, 31, of Niles, crossed the finish line first in the female division with a time of 20:16.

Business

Event organizers, local dispensaries call inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival a success

Breaking News

Buchanan native Hannah Roberts takes silver in Olympics

News

PHOTO STORY: Inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival sells nearly 800 tickets

Cass County

Cass County Fair grand marshals are longtime advocates of the fair

Cass County

Fair organizers excited for fair after 2020 cancellation

Cass County

Fair guests in for a treat with main grounds entertainment

Cass County

COA’s Meals on Wheels program seeks delivery volunteers

Berrien County

Inaugural LIVESTRONG at the YMCA 5K to take place Aug. 7

Dowagiac

Purdue University Fort Wayne, SMC sign transfer agreement

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department offering COVID-19 vaccines at the Cass County Fair

Berrien County

Law enforcement, state leaders warn residents to be aware of rental scams

Berrien County

Southwest Michigan thrift stores seeing sharp increase in donations

News

Niles Township approves document scanning project

News

Virtual archaeology lecture series ends with look into Chevalier family

Berrien County

Salvation Army welcomes new majors

News

Community turns out to raise funds for teen battling rare condition

Berrien County

Berrien County health officials urge COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents

News

New dog park, garden coming to the Niles Housing Commission

Dowagiac

Ascension to require COVID-19 vaccination for associates

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg looking forward to inaugural art fair

Business

Niles Planning Commission approves special land use request for marijuana microbusiness

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 26-28

Dowagiac

Southwestern Michigan College’s accreditation reaffirmed through 2031

Business

Gov. Whitmer Signs Proclamation Marking July 28 to Aug. 4 as Buy Michigan Week