Of all the races at the 41st Annual 5th/3rd River Bank Run the one causing the biggest stir Saturday was the women's 5k where 11-year-old Clara James Heer took the title.

Clara was the first across the finish line in the women's 5k race, not only in her age group, but first among ALL female divisions, making her the youngest to win EVER at River Bank Run.

In addition to be being the first female finisher, her time of 17 minutes, 52.86 seconds was 14th of all runners, male and female. It was a PR for Clara and her first time under 18 minutes for a 5k (3.12 mile) race.

Clara is no stranger to distance running. She recorded the fastest 3000 meter time of all runners at the Hershey National Youth Indoor Championships this winter.

"I think she's pretty amazing," her Dad, Craig James-Heer told Mlive.com. "I didn't know if she was going to be able to win it, but she can do a pretty fast 5K time, and she is pretty ambitious. It was a matter of who was going to be here.

"We used to run together, but she started beating me last year. I think my days of beating her are over."

Clara will not collect the first place prize money so she can retain her amateur status.

Did Clara rest after her big win Saturday morning? Nope. She went on a two hour bike ride with her bike club in Belmont. Yikes! Now I feel lazy and I mowed my lawn Saturday!

The top two racers in the women's 10k had familiar last names. Winner MacKenizie Diemer is the daughter of Brian Diemer, former Olympian and current Calvin College track coach. Brian finished 7th in the 3000 meter steeplechase in Barcelona at the 1992 Olympics. Runner up Raychel Figurski is the daughter of WOOD-TV sportscaster Larry Figurski.

The 25k River Run titles were won by Aliphine Tuliamack in the women's division, and Sam Chelenga in the men's. Isaac Mukundi of Lansing pulled the double and won both the men's 5 and 10k races.


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