Lowell’s Brittany Lump wins first Buckley 5 Miler after several attempts
By Jeff Manes Post-Tribune correspondent July 20, 2013 11:18PM
Brittany Lump finishes 2nd overall for the women with a time of 33:47.5 at Buckley Homestead Park in Lowell, IN on Saturday July 20, 2013. | Jim Karczewski~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 22, 2013 7:05AM
LOWELL — Familiar faces at the Buckley 5 Miler, Sandy Stefanski and Karen Nagel, didn’t make this year’s race, but hometown girl Brittany Lump did.
The 25-year-old Lump — once a standout distance runner for Lowell High School — said she had competed in eight or nine Buckley 5 Milers, but had never won the women’s title. Her winless streak came to a halt when she finished ahead of all female competitors with a time of 33:45.
“I took the lead at about the one-mile marker and thought, ‘I’ve never led before; this is scary,’” she said. “But there were three cross country runners from Valpo who really helped push me.
“I had a lot of dedication in high school, but that’s because I had to go to practice. Now, I’m doing it on my own. I’m a much smarter runner today.
Lump, a Purdue grad, has decided to further her education and will attend IUPUI in the fall.
“I’m going back to school for event management,” she said. “I want to become a race director.”
Jessica Bliss of Griffith finished second with a time of 35:59. Bliss, 34, has been running since fourth grade and was a standout distance runner for Griffith High School when she was known as Jessica Meece. In 2007, Bliss ran the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:48.
“This was my first Buckley 5 Miler,” she said. “It was hot, but it was a nice course. I could see Brittany at the beginning, but she slowly pulled away. I really like the course; the grass felt good on my legs. It gives you a break from the road. I’d like to run this race again next year.”
Before the start of the race, Adam Hudak seemed pleased with course conditions. Hudak has served as race director for 10 consecutive years.
“We had a little bit of rain last night, but it’s not real muddy,” he said. “It’s pretty hot out, but they planted soy beans in the ‘Back 80’ (80-acre field contestants must run around to complete the course) this year. The heat gets trapped back there amongst the tall stalks making it even hotter in the corn years.”
Nearly 250 contestants finished the 15th annual five-mile run nestled away within Buckley Homestead. Those finishing in the top three in their respective age groups received cow bells as trophies.