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Penny claims Blue Plum 5K title

Tanner Cook • Jun 2, 2018 at 5:29 PM

The second day of the 19th annual Blue Plum Festival kicked off Saturday morning with the running of the Blue Plum 5K through downtown Johnson City and some of the surrounding neighborhoods.

J Penny took home the overall male title in 17:06 while Hayley Keylon won the women’s race in 20:39.

The race had been on Friday night in previous years, on the first day of the festival. However, the move to Saturday morning — to avoid the large crowds — was a good decision by the race director. The runners also got the benefit of nice morning to run, despite the humidity.

People who had run the race in the past gave glowing reviews, saying how well the race was managed and smoothly the race ran. Some of the only complaints was the course had a few too many turns.

There was also a Little Plum half-mile kids dash for ages 10 and under with over 30 participants.

Eleven-year-old Abigail Belcher won in a close race over Avery Whitson for the overall girls title. A few minutes later, the boys winner — Jensen Sikora — followed and finished sixth overall.

There were over 200 people that finished the 5K on Saturday morning. There was free beer at Yee-Haw Brewery and other refreshments, including bananas, fruit juice from First Watch and cake pops from Cakebuds Bakery, waiting for runners afterward.

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