McInerney and Handley

Ivy Handley, left, and Riley McInerney, right, were the two overall winners of the Four for the Fourth race in Charleston in the women's and men's divisions, respectively.

CHARLESTON – The heat and humidity returned for the Four for the Fourth road race Tuesday and so did Riley McInerney and Ivy Handley.

McInerney, of Charleston, won the four-mile run for the seventh year in a row. Handley, like McInerney a member of Eastern Illinois University’s distance running teams, won the women’s division for the second time in three years.

McInerney’s winning time of 20:57.25 was considerably slower than his 2016 winning time of 20:08.05. But last year’s run was under cloudy skies mixed with drizzle and a temperature in the low 60s. This year’s run was more typical for July with a temperature and humidity both in the mid-70s with a bright sun.

Handley’s winning time was 27:08.45. Her winning time also was not as fast as her 2015 top time of 24:15.05.

The two overall champs both are finishing up their running careers at EIU. Handley, a Decatur resident, will be student teaching at Mount Zion High School in the fall. She plans to begin training for a marathon.

McInerney, who will student teach and help coach cross country in McHenry this fall, has one semester eligibility of outdoor track remaining at EIU. He will take some graduate courses and compete in track for the Panthers again next spring.

Colton Bell, 19, finished second overall and first in the 13-19 age group in a time of 21:52.30. Quincy Collings of Mattoon, 15, was second among all female finishers and won the 13-19 age group with a time of 27:35.85.

Chuck Trent was first in the two-mile walk while Carol Sherer was second and Alecia Bower placed third.

The four-mile run and two-mile walk are sponsored each July 4 by Coles County Habitat for Humanity.

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