Former champ joined by Elmwood woman in winners circle

John Sloan and Mike Landis/GateHouse News Service
Runners break from the starting line in Saturday’s Freedom Fest 5K run/walk, which started at Wiley Park. Dan Gray of Peoria and Jackie McGowan of Elmwood won the men’s and women’s overall titles, respectively.

Jackie McGowan of Elmwood (above) was the top female runner Saturday.

Dan Gray of Peoria (rear) follows pacer “Jeep Jones” as he nears the finish line to capture the overall title in the 2009 Galva Freedom Fest 5K run on Saturday.

A cool and wet Fourth of July morning may have deterred some visitors, but for nearly 200 runners and walkers in the Galva Independence Day 5K, the steady rain was just fine.

“It was a lot better than running in the heat,” said Galva High School track and cross country athlete Trevor Foley, who finished fourth overall in a time of 18:07.

Dan Gray of Peoria, a former Galva 5K winner, returned to the Freedom Fest field after missing the race last year and won the event in a time of 17:01.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Gray. “My time was a little off, but that was more a fitness thing than the weather.”

Jake Mahaffey was second overall in a time of 17:51, followed by John Grice at 17:59.

Jackie McGowan of Elmwood was the top female finisher in a time of 21:08, followed by Hope Hoseman in 22:13.

The top three Galva male finishers were all high school students, led by Trevor Foley. Younger brother Derek Foley was second in a time of 18:26 and Kevin O’Riley third at 22:12.

Brittany Rose was the top Galva female finisher in a time of 24:10, followed by Candy Louck at 28:04 and Doreen Lay at 28:09.

Race director Wayne Skaloud said 215 runners and walkers registered for Saturday’s race, and 181 braved the elements to cross the finish line.

“It just shows, the spirit of the runner is undaunted,” said Skaloud.

Brothers Derek Foley (left) and Trevor Foley finished second and first, respectively, in times clocked by Galva runners in Saturday’s 5K run. Kevin O’Riley had the third fastest time of Galva residents in the race.