RBR 25K winner sets American record; women retain race streak

River Bank Run

***CORRECTION: A previous story incorrectly stated Bates also set a record. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While the Amway River Bank Run men’s 25K winner broke an American record Saturday, it wasn’t enough to capture the race within the race.

Parker Stinson, 27, of Boulder, Colorado, finished the 25K race with a chip time of 1:13:47.120. He beat the previous record of 1:14:18 set by Chris Landry at the River Bank Run in May 2014 

“The weather was amazing. It couldn’t be more perfect,” said Stinson. “I think it’s a great course, it’s enough uphills and downhills to keep you engaged and excited.  And yeah, I PR’ed in the half marathon en route too, so this is the place to be. It’s a great course.”

Stinson was unable to close the 11-minute gap between the women’s winner — Emma Bates, 26, of Boise, Idaho. She finished the race with a chip time of 1:23:49.50.

“I ran the half-marathon championships in Pittsburgh last weekend and I didn’t feel myself so I had a lot of fire under me. I wanted to go out today and just run my hardest. I didn’t care about the time. I wanted to race hard and finish hard, and I guess that’s what I did,” Bates said with a laugh.

>>Amway River Bank Run on woodtv.com: Full Coverage | Race Results

It’s the fourth consecutive year a woman has won the race within the race. 

“The other women push me so much so I don’t really think about the guys until the later stages of the race, then I try to pick up as much as I can, but I’m just fighting with the women up there and they’re so strong,” Bates said. 

This is the fifth year for the race within the race. Whoever crosses the finish line first takes home an extra $2,500 on top of the $10,000 first-place prize.

After three consecutive years of victory for the elite women, organizers whittled down the start time margin to 11 minutes based on the average difference of finishing times between the elite men and elite women. Last year, the elite women got an 11 minute and 15 second head start over the elite men in the race within the race.

For the past three years, Aliphine Tuliamuk has captured the race within the race title. However, she did not sign up to run this year’s 25K.

Also missing from this year’s lineup was Sam Chelenga of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who was the first man to cross the 25K finish line last year.

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