Runners line up at the start of the Run for Bonifest five-kilometer race through downtown Edwardsville early Saturday morning. (Photo by Brent Feeney)

The conditions for Saturday morning's Run for Bonifest five-kilometer (3.1 mile) road race through downtown Edwardsville were near-pefect. Temperatures in the low 60s and partly-cloudy skies seemed to point to the possibility of a record-setting day for the some 600 entrants in the race.

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To say records were set would be an understatement.

Peter Mitchell of Nashville, Tenn., who attends Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, shattered the course record with a 15:58 run in the men's competition; the previous record was 17:11. Edwardsville's Kayla Brown also set a record in the women's competition, covering the distance in 17:27, bettering the previous mark of 17:48. All told, the top six men's finishers finished below the previous mark.

“It was a really flat and fast course,” Mitchell said. “There were a lot of turns in it, but the organizers really monitored it well and did a great job.”

Mitchell had intended to go out in a slightly slower pace, but was forced to go quicker by one of the competitors who went out rather quickly. “I was hoping to do a 5:30 first mile or stay with the leaders,” Mitchell said, “but one of the other runners really came out quick and set a good pace and I decided to try to stay with him.

“I caught him a quarter-mile into it but kept it up.”

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The run, which was the 16th edition of the event, was held as part of the 31st Bonifest, a fund-raising music event and carnival held on the grounds of St. Boniface Catholic Church in downtown Edwardsville. “We're raising funds for both St. Boniface's education program and for Fr. McGivney High School (in Maryville),” said race chair Toby Heddinghous. “Back in 2000, it was decided to have a 5K as part of the Saturday morning activities at Bonifest; it's grown since then. We had about 600 entrants for today's race.”

Most entrants hail from the St. Louis area, but some participants also come from across the country. “We've had runners from outside the area who are in town visiting people over Memorial Day weekend,” Heddinghous said. “It makes for a really fun atmosphere.

“We're really happy with the people who are taking part and for the support we've gotten from the Edwardsville police and officials.”

The top 10 overall men's finishers and their times were Mitchell; Collinsville's Justin Wieduwilt in 16:25; Jefferson Bushur in 16:34; Collinsville's Colby Garman in 16:39; Collinsville's Jon Yoch in 16:40; Glen Carbon's Matthew Shearer in 16:45; Edwardsville's Jack Pifer in 17:36; Iain Perry in 17:44; Glen Carbon's Robert Willholt in 18:02; and Edwardsville's Harry Senaldi in 18:07.

The top 10 women's finishers included Brown; Erika Holroyd in 18:26; Rachel Tinius in 18:33; Glen Carbon's Michelle Wolfe in 19:08; Troy's Maddie Keller in 20:23; Kathy Pearman in 20:23; Miranda Brockman in 20:34; Edwardsville's Becky Bradley in 20:35; Edwardsville's Becca Starrett in 21:17; and Gina Dingman in 21:37.

Nashville's Peter Mitchell was the overall winner in the Run for Bonifest on Saturday. (Photo by Brent Feeney)

Edwardsville's Kayla Brown broke a course record in Run for Bonifest on Saturday. (Photo by Brent Feeney)

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