The 2015 running of the Madison Courier Firecracker 10K will be contested on Saturday, July 4 for the first time without Madison Courier publisher and race organizer Jane W. Jacobs, who lost her battle with cancer in April.
The race has been renamed the Jane Jacobs Memorial Madison Courier Firecracker 10K Walk/Run.
“The committee and a lot of other people wanted to honor mom because she’s kind of managed that race since the start,” said Jacob’s son, Curt, who is now publisher of the sponsoring Madison Courier. “We thought that was appropriate ... while she wasn’t a runner, she certainly had a long involvement with the event.”
The event begins at 8 a.m. once again at Madison Consolidated High School on the hilltop and winds its way through the Madison State Hospital grounds and down Hanging Rock Hill to Lytle Park in downtown Madison.
The ceremonial starters this year are WAVE-3 news anchor Dawne Gee and former MCHS track, football and wrestling athlete Jordan Partee.
Gee herself has battled cancer and is an active member of the community through her support of various health-related organizations and charities.
Partee, although never a distance runner, is now a sophomore at Indiana Tech and a long jumper and high jumper on the Warriors’ nationally-acclaimed track team.
The defending champion of the Courier 10K run is Kristopher Sandlin, a former high school runner at Scottsburg and collegiate athlete at Franklin College, who ran a 31:18 to defend his title from 2013 when he won the race in a time of 31:44 in a drizzling rain.
The top female runner in 2014 was Sara Martin, a former Southwestern Lady Rebel runner who now lives in Seymour, with a time of 37:19.
The course record is held by Cecil Franke — a three time winner — with a time of 29:44 in 1990 when he was a 21-year-old student athlete at Ball State University. Franke’s other wins came in 2005 (30:22.10) and 2006 (30:10.80).