The Vienna City Park was buzzing this weekend during the fourth running of the Tunnel Hill 100/50 Mile Runs on the Tunnel Hill State Trail. Over 630 runners and an estimated 2,000 supporters were in Johnson County for the event.
The temperatures in Southern Illinois were below freezing Saturday morning. But that did not
slow many of the runners. A new course record and a new 100-mile world record was set this year by Camille Herron of Oklahoma. She completed the 100-mile race in 12:42:39. Herron was the female race winner and over-all race winner.
The weekend running event began Friday evening with check-in and packet pick up at the Vienna High School. The runners were provided a spaghetti dinner prepared by the Vienna Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star.
Roughly 1,000 vehicles, from all across the country, were packed into the city park Saturday morning prior to the start of the race. Thirty five states and 25 Canadian provinces were represented in this year’s race.
The event consisted of two races, a 100-mile run and a 50-mile run, occurring at the same time. The races began at 7 a.m. Saturday and ended Sunday at 1 p.m.
The 50-mile runners started at the city park, ran south to the Cache River Wetlands Center south of Cypress, turned around and proceeded to the north turnaround, two miles north of Tunnel Hill, before returning to the Vienna City Park. That route was 50 miles in length.
Runners participating in the 100-mile run ran the same course twice. Prior to the beginning of the races, the Vienna VFW Post did a 21-gun salute in honor of Veterans Day. Kyleigh Smith sang the National Anthem.
Mike Bialick, of Minnesota, finished second with a time of 13:02:43. He was the winner of the male division.
Matt Hoyes, of Bardstown, KY, won the 50-mile in the male division, finishing in 05:54:39. The female winner in the 50-mile race, with a time of 07:26:30, was Alicia Heyne of Louisville, KY.
Local resturaunts reported a very ‘good day’ for sales throughout the day Saturday.