Up on the hill!
It’s a race! It’s aÂ reunion! It’s a community celebration!
As 12,606 runners and walkers took to Davenport’sÂ Brady Street hill shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday, the 43rd annualÂ Quad-City Times Bix 7 road race proved to beÂ all of those things.
The coolish weather âÂ 68 degrees under sunny skiesÂ â producedÂ plenty of smiles among participants and the thousands of people lining theÂ course.
With the low temp,Â 73Â percent humidity and a dew point ofÂ 59 â not yet in the stickyÂ range â there weren’t any big heat issues in theÂ medical tent. Only 22 people were treated, and none was transported from there to hospitals.
Race crowd favorite Joy Ripslinger, theÂ Assumption High School running standout, succeeded inÂ beating the elite runners with herÂ 2.25-mile head start. She flew through the course to winÂ the Isle CasinoÂ Beat the Elite event that comes withÂ $2,500 prize money that she will donate toÂ charity.
Another crowd favorite, Joan Benoit Samuelson, running this year for the first time in the women’s 60-and-over age category, didn’t justÂ beat the course record, she obliterated it, finishing five minutes and 52 seconds faster than another woman her age. She also won the women’s masters (40 and over) for the 15th time.
Not to be overlooked â four men, one in his 60s and the rest in their 70s âÂ participated in theÂ seven-mile race for theÂ 43rd time in a row, a distinction held by only those four. They are Ed Lillis, 71, of Rock Island;Â Â Don Fish, 67, of Davenport; Gary Fischer, 75, of Iowa City; andÂ Steve Clark, 70, of Chicago’s western suburbs.
Costumes included the ever-popular Palmer College of Chiropractic spine, a half dozenÂ Marilyn Monroes, Elvis, a penguin and Batman. Several groups hiked inÂ military gear,…