GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Aliphine Tuliamuk pushed through the abnormally warm weather Saturday morning to win the women’s 25K at the 2022 Amway River Bank Run. Shortly behind her was Leonard Korir, who won the men’s race.
The 45th annual River Bank Run returned to its rightful spot on the second Saturday of May. The massive road race features wheelchair and handcycle races, a 5K, a 10K and the marquee 25K. The 25K also serves as the USA Track & Field’s road championship.
The weather for Saturday’s event was unseasonably warm and muggy with temperatures in the 60s during the morning. Highs were expected in the 80s in the afternoon.
The 25K runners hit the road around 8:20 a.m. Temperatures around that time were in the 60s and reached the mid-70s when the leaders crossed the finish line.
Tuliamuk’s time was 1:23:18.99. This was her third time winning the women’s 25K race, the first time in 2016 and then again in 2018.
Tuliamuk, of Flagstaff, Arizona, said her young daughter Zoey and her husband inspired her to compete this year.
“My daughter just turned 16 months old yesterday. I was here yesterday and remember thinking I got to work hard tomorrow to make this trip away from her worth it,” said Tuliamuk. “I want to make her and my family proud. My husband is so supportive, and I want to make him proud. He sacrifices a lot to make sure that I get to do my career.”
This was the first year Korir, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, competed in the 25K River Bank Run race. He won the men’s race with a time of 1:15:53.46.
He said he enjoyed the warmer weather and plans to come back to compete in the future.
“I thought (the weather) was perfect. I liked the course a lot. This was my first time. I think I’m going to come back. It was a very nice course,” said Korir.
The course was revised this year because of construction and street changes in downtown Grand Rapids. Runners started off headed downhill down Michigan Street and faced an early climb in the Butterworth Hills. That was followed by a long stretch along the Grand River on Indian Mounds Drive and then a straightaway on Market Avenue.
The winner of the 25K took home $10,000. Second place is $5,000 and third place $2,500.
This was the sixth consecutive year in which the women won the “race within a race,” which gives women a 10 minutes, 30 seconds handicap and challenges the men to catch them. That means Tuliamuk will take home a $2,500 bonus.
RAYMOND AND MUNANU WIN 5K AND 10K
Magut Raymond, a 24-year-old Kenyan running out of Lansing, took first place in the first race of the day, the 5K at 7 a.m., with a time of 15:10.18. Mary Munanu, 27, finished first among women with a time of 15:58.99.
The 10K started at 7:40 a.m. Raymond and Munanu ran that race as well, and both broke the tape again. Raymond clocked at 30:24.19 and Mananu at 33:55.77.
This is the second year in a row Munanu won both the 5K and 10K races.
“I’m feeling great because I really wanted to win both of the races to defend last year,” said Mananu after finishing the 10K race. “I’m really happy about winning. The crowd was really cheering for me, giving me a lot of motivation. Yes, I was happy.”
Matt Tingley won the 25K handcycle with a time this year of 39:18.94. James Senbeta won the wheelchair race with a time of 57:45.05.