Close to 1,000 run in Bloomin’ Mile

Kids prepare to run in the 6-7-year-old boys race at the Bloomin' Mile on Friday in Winchester. Tommy Keeler Jr./Daily


WINCHESTER– There were 986 runners in the 14th-annual Apple Blossom Festival Bloomin’ Mile on Friday.

There were seven races with ages of the kids ranging from 6-to-14.

The first race featured both boys and girls in the 12-14 age group. James Harris, 13, won the race in a time of five minutes and seven seconds.

“Competing with my friends is mostly the best part about this, hanging out with my friends,” Harris said.

Harris, of Stephens City, said he also won two years ago.

James Harris, 14, of Stephens City, crosses the finish line first in the 12-14 year-old race Friday in the Bloomin' Mile in Winchester. Tommy Keeler Jr/Daily

The top girls finisher in the 12-14 year-old race was Addison Hillyard, 14. Her time was 6:02.

“This is my first time winning and it’s my last year so I was happy with it,” Hillyard said. “I just really wanted to win.”

The six other divisions were divided into a boys and a girls race. In the 11-12 year-old boys race, Garrett Stickley won with a time of 5:40.

It was Stickley’s third time winning a Bloomin’ Mile race.

“It feels awesome,” Stickley said.

Addison Hillyard, 14, of Winchester, was the first girl to finish in the 12-14 year-old race Friday in the Bloomin' Mile in Winchester. Tommy Keeler Jr./Daily

Stickley is the son of Strasburg graduate, longtime running standout and owner of Runner’s Retreat in Winchester, Mark Stickley.

Garrett Stickley, whose brother, Ryan, finished sixth in the 12-14 year-old race, said that Mark Stickley is a good influence on him.

“He’s like try your best and whatever you do I’m very proud of you,” Garrett Stickley said.

The winner of the girls 10-11 year-old race was Ryleigh Combs, 11.

She won the race in a time of 6:14. The race was close, but Combs was able to pull it out at the end for her first win in the Bloomin Mile.

Garrett Stickley, 11, of Winchester, crosses the finish line first in the 10-11 year-old boys race Friday in the Bloomin' Mile in Winchester. Tommy Keeler Jr/Daily

Combs said she wasn’t sure how she pulled it out.

“I don’t really know where it came from, because that’s the fastest I’ve run since fall,” Combs said.

Combs’ brother, Micah, won the boys 8-9 year-old race in a time of 6:09.

Ruby Ostrander, 9, of Winchester, won the 8-9 year-old race in a time of 6:24.

Hudson Slaughter, 7, of Winchester, won the 6-7 year-old race in seven minutes and 18 seconds.

Ryleigh Combs, 11, of Stephens City, crosses the finish line first in the 10-11 year-old girls race Friday in the Bloomin' Mile in Winchester. Tommy Keeler Jr/Daily

In the 6-7 year-old girls race, Ambrielle Thomas won with a time of 7:55.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com