COTTONWOOD - On Saturday, many came to Riverfront Park for the seventh annual Brian Mickelsen Memorial Marathon.
Ryan Bigelow, City of Cottonwood recreation services supervisor, said that of the 548 registered runners, 465 finished the race.
The runners came from fifteen states, as well as from Canada, Romania and Italy.
The races were separated into male and female groups. The races were marathon, half marathon, 10K and two miles. Bigelow said overall it was a good day for the event.
"Great turnout, a lot of people had a lot of fun," he said. "It was a great day."
There were several local winners on Saturday. Gary Krugger from Flagstaff won the mile at 02:47:52.
Also Tim Freriks from Cottonwood won the half marathon at 01:11:14.
"I think it's something that the community really rallies around," Bigelow said. "With it being the Brian Mickelsen, when a local comes in and really does well and performs, it means a lot for us."
Bigelow said there are more good local athletes than a lot of people are aware of.
"We have pretty talented athletes around here," he said. "Some people don't necessarily realize that. Not just runners, there are also a lot of high quality cyclists around. There are real athletes all over the Verde Valley."
The race is named after former Cottonwood City Manager who died in 2007.
'That's why it's so important locally," Bigelow said. "There are still a lot of people very connected with Brian."
Bigelow said he expects the event to remain strong in the future.
"Every year we make changes," he said. "The changes are hopefully for good results. Every year I've been doing it, the feedback has been better and better. There are people who really think this is a quality event. We want to focus on the quality, which will improve the quantity."
Freriks said he was more serious about winning the race this year than he was in 2014.
"I did it as just training last year," he said.
Freriks is a 24-year-old. He lived in Cottonwood until he went to Northern Arizona University, he lives in Flagstaff now. Freriks ran both cross country and track while he was a student at Mingus Union High School. He also ran cross country and track at NAU.
Freriks said there wasn't much to his training in preparing for the race.
"Really it was rather simple," he said. "Just ran a lot for a few months. I've been working full-time, I'm fitting my training around that. I've been really focusing on getting a good long run in. Usually I run for around two hours once a week. A lot of tempo stuff, a little faster pace run. I lift once or twice a week. I've been just trying to get a lot of variety in, keep my miles up as much as I can. That's what I've been doing."
Freriks has always ran the half marathon every time he's competed in the Brian Mickelsen Memorial.
He said there are a few reasons why he enjoys distance running.
"I think it's really unique and it's easy to measure up against your past times and your past achievements," he said. "It's just a way to really try and improve myself. To stay healthy and I like competing. I just really enjoy competing against people and competing against the clock. I think distance running is really a great sport because the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The more you train, the better you get to a certain point. I really like that aspect of it. There is a challenge factor in distance running, but with a lot of miles you can become pretty good at it, that's exciting."
Follow Sports Reporter Derek Evans on Twitter @DerekEvans20Male winners
1. Gary Krugger 02:47:52
2. Sean Meissner 03:09:14
3. Ron Rodriguez 03:29:30
4. Bob Stepp 03:33:23
5. Rob Gray 03:33:45
1. Tim Freriks 01:11:14
2. Mark Jasper 01:20:37
3. Will Drexler 01:20:43
4. Justin Boyd 01:27:4
5. Ray Addington 01:35:05
1. David Castillo 00:42:25
2. Steve Snyder 00:46:10
3. Aaron Godfrey 00:47:11
4. Pete Dusharm 00:47:37
5. Michael Thomas 00:47:45
1. Zef Bagby 00:12:53
2. Christopher Bagby 00:13:27
3. Jesus Lopez 00:15:49
4. Eli Rollins 00:16:09
5. Jadon Seth 00:16:10
1. Cecilia Castaneda 03:30:22
2. Corrin Kalinich 03:31:31
3. Kristina Siladi 03:45:47
4. Abbye Neel 04:10:54
5. Rachel Behling 04:26:47
1. Colleen Lingley 01:30:45
2. Megan Stone 01:48:09
3. Melissa Kullander 01:51:23
4. Stephanie Sallum 01:53:58
5. Heather Beutel 01:54:12
1. Katie Amundson 00:50:30
2. Tandy Taylor 00:50:42
3. Michie Pitts 00:51:48
4. Jodine Imms 00:51:57
5. Tenna Hall 00:54:30
1. Jessica Leary 00:16:38
2. Quenton Metz 00:16:58
3. Kathy Hardy 00:17:31
4. Yasmin Romero 00:18:20
5. Miya Godfrey 00:18:21