REPEAT ENGAGEMENT: Kris Sandlin, shown nearing the finish of the 2015 Madison Courier 10K could go for his fourth consecutive win in the event this year. (2015 Courier file photo by Mark Campbell)
REPEAT ENGAGEMENT: Kris Sandlin, shown nearing the finish of the 2015 Madison Courier 10K could go for his fourth consecutive win in the event this year. (2015 Courier file photo by Mark Campbell)
With just two weeks left before the 38th running of the Madison Courier Firecracker 10K Run/Walk applications from both runners and walkers are starting to pour in for the other big race on Madison Regatta Weekend.

And while U-5 Graham Trucking driver J. Michael Kelly will be going for his third consecutive Indiana Governor’s Cup on Sunday, July 3, Kris Sandlin can do him one better on Saturday, July 2 when he will run for his fourth consecutive Courier 10K win.

Sandlin, a former runner at Scottsburg High School and Franklin College who now teaches and coaches cross country, track & field and wrestling at Switzerland County, first won the 10K back in 2013 as a 21-year-old college sophomore. Now 24, Sandlin can do what no other 10K runner has done by finishing as the overall winner for a fourth time and in his case all in succession.

A win this year would separate Sandlin from Madison course record holder and three-time champion Cecil Franke, who first won with a record time of 29:44 in 1990 and then posted back-to-back wins in 2005 and 2006 in 30:22.10 and 30:10.80, respectively.

Of course, the runner with the most overall and consecutive wins is Amanda Bell LeBlanc, who was the top female for five consecutive years between 2000-2004 and then again in 2010 when she claimed her record sixth victory.

The top female in the 2015 race was Kyla Thoman, 26, of Indianapolis who was also 15th overall in 40:35. Denise Berry holds the female course record at 33:07 set in 1982.

While the potential for a repeat winner is definitely an option this year, the decision by race organizers to have repeat Courier 10K honorary starters is a definite. Longtime race organizers Lou Knoble and Dick Naylor, who retired from those roles after the 2015 race, will get that honor this year for a second time.

Knoble, an artist and former high school and college running coach and teacher at Madison High School, and Naylor, a former multi-sport coach and sports administrator at Hanover College, first served as honorary 10K starters back in 2008.

According to Madison Courier Publisher Curt Jacobs, who now heads up the 10K committee, the group wanted to once again honor Naylor and Knoble for their years of dedication to the event. After the deaths of several other key members of the organization in recent years — former Courier publisher Jane Jacobs on April 13, 2015 and volunteer Duke Meyer on March 6 — the committee wanted to show its appreciation to those who have contributed so much over the years.

“Both Dick Naylor and Lou Knoble have retired from their positions on our organizing committee. We also lost Duke Meyer, who passed away this year,” Curt Jacobs said. “All of those guys have been key organizers/volunteers since the inception of the race. When you couple that with the loss of my mother, last year, we have lost quite a bit of institutional knowledge.”

That said, Jacobs noted the event continues to move forward and evolve and the committee — some long-timers themselves and others new to the process — are carrying on in the tradition established long ago.

“It takes over 50 volunteers to pull off the race,” Jacobs said. “That said, we still have several seasoned volunteers who have been involved in a planning capacity such as Dave Auxier, Ted Sullivan and Josh Payne. We have also had new volunteers like Sue Livers, Dave Collins, Andy Livorno and Karen Modisett step to the plate to help plan and execute the event. We also have many excellent volunteers who work the day of the race. We could not pull this event off without each of them. We look forward to having another great race, our 38th.”

Those wanting to preregister for the annual 6.2-mile event have until Friday to lock in the lower price and a preferred T-shirt size. Cost is $10 for the non-competitive walk and $20 for the run with both prices increasing by $5 after Friday.

The fee includes the commemorative T-Shirt and an information packet. No awards are presented in the walk but custom-made awards are given in eight 10K run divisions — male and female — as well as to the top male and top female.

According to Jacobs, the number of award categories has shrunk compared to previous years with the categories now covering a wider age range.

“We did this to keep the entry fee at the current level and to streamline the awards presentation,” Jacobs said. “The only other visible change is that we hope to have a DJ before and after the race to play music.”

The event will be held rain or shine starting at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 2 at Madison Consolidated High School and ending in Lytle Park in downtown Madison. For the safety of all runners and walkers, participants are asked to not bring pets other than service animals. Water will be available at locations throughout the course, medical personnel will be on standby and a shuttle bus will be provided to return participants to the hilltop.

For more information or for a registration form, visit www.madisoncourier.com/FTP/16Courier10KRaceForm.pdf.

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Madison Courier 10K

MALE WINNERS

Year — Overall Winner — Time

1979 — David Collins & Rich White — 30:04

1980 — David Collins — 31:30

1981 — Gordon Snaden — 31:25.3

1982 — Scott Brink — 31:19

1983 — Leo Turchyn — 31:39.6

1984 — Tim Downs — 30:26.6

1985 — John Harrison — 30:45.5

1986 — Stan Clark — 30:37

1987 — Ron Sharp — 30:58

1988 — Jim Estes — 30:08

1989 — Swag Hartel — 30:40

1990 — Cecil Franke — 29:44

1991 — Duane Dye — 32:06

1992 — Scott Brink — 31:59

1993 — Jonathan White — 31:19.93

1994 — Terry Marcott — 32:58.04

1995 — Tony Nading — 30:53.26

1996 — Tony Teats — 30:51.72

1997 — Tony Teats — 3:19.88

1998 — Aaron Moody — 32:36.38

1999 — Rich McCurdy — 32:25

2000 — Joey Byrne — 33:20

2001 — Mike Skiles — 32:12

2002 — Jeff Andrew — 31:43

2003 — Wes Seacat — 31:28

2004 — Wes Seacat — 32:45.01

2005 — Cecil Franke — 30:22.10

2006 — Cecil Franke — 30:10.80

2007 — Neal Masterson — 33:25.50

2008 — Jeffery Johnson — 34:17.10

2009 — Oliver Book — 33:01.23

2010 — Danny Fisher — 31:38.67

2011 — Tate Schienbein — 31:59.78

2012 — Jeremy Johnson — 34:37

2013 — Kristopher Sandlin — 31:44

2014 — Kristopher Sandlin — 31:18

2015 — Kristopher Sandlin — 31:12

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FEMALE WINNERS

1979 — Michelle Mendrick40:50

1980 — Roseann Barnhill — 40:08

1981 — Roseann Barnhill — 39:18.6

1982 — Denise Berry — 33:07

1983 — Carol Hayden — 41:34.8

1984 — Jane Tompkins-Lundgren — 37:25.5

1985 — Lori Veal — 34:17

1986 — Glenna Bower — 40:10

1987 — Glenna Bower — 39:26

1988 — Tracey Thaden Edwards — 36:35

1989 — Glenna Bower — 38:45

1990 — Esther Brooks — 40:24

1991 — Tracey Thaden Edwards — 34:45

1992 — Deborah Fletcher — 37:34

1993 — Deborah Fletcher — 39:20.03

1994 — Debbi Ramseyer — 38:00.93

1995 — Mary Anne Tonini — 35:59.58

1996 — Mary Anne Tonini-Lyons — 35:12.79

1997 — Molly Dattilo — 37:51.57

1998 — Molly Dattilo — 38:34.37

1999 — Mariam Ballantine — 37:51

2000 — Amanda Bell — 35:49

2001 — Amanda Bell — 37:22

2002 — Amanda Bell — 39:00

2003 — Amanda Bell — 38:29

2004 — Amanda Bell — 37:20.14

2005 — Alyse Nelson — 39:50.77

2006 — Alyse Nelson — 39:43.70

2007 — Leah Peelman — 37:14.00

2008 — Caitlin Sauerhage — 40:08.10

2009 — Heidi Saunders — 37:50.70

2010 — Heidi Saunders — 38:55.10

2011 — Amanda Bell LeBlanc — 38:03.33

2012 — Mackenzie Dye — 40:17

2013 — Sarah Billingsley — 38:12

2014 — Sara Martin — 37:39

2015 — Kyla Thoman — 40:35