Thousands compete on roadways of Kennett, Unionville to raise money for local organizations
By Hannah Christopher, Running Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
KENNETT — Small town, big race was the theme for last Saturday’s 23rd Kennett Run. And after the 2,646th person crossed the 5k finish line in Anson B. Nixon I would say that Anson B. Nixon had quite the crowd for the famous after party of the Kennett Run.
There were 400 runners combined in the other two events held and with the additional volunteers and spectators the park was overflowing with people with an estimate of 5000.
The event organizers could not have ordered a more spectacular day. 62 degrees at race start with a slight breeze and few clouds gave many the opportunities to set their personal record.
This was the second year in a row on the new 5k course which takes you down route 82 north to East Locust Drive. And then the fun begins at the two mile mark and the racers take a right on Walnut Road to finish the last mile before entering the park. Walnut Road has two hills that the racers have a new found respect for. The ten k race also follows Walnut Road for their last mile before the finish and it would be accurate to say that running the hills on Walnut Road at mile 5 must have been slightly worse then running it at mile 2.5.
Crossing the line first was 31 year old Birbanu Alemu Feyissa, of Silver Spring MD who blazed to a 14:11 time . For the females the victor was Hirut Mundetro, finishing 5th overall in a 16:42. Debbie Pelegrin took home the masters championship for the women in a 21;34 and David Hughes of Newark, Delaware captured the championship for the masters men in a 17:16. Pelegrin is a hometown favorite residing in Kennett Square.
In the ten kilometer run the overall winner was Derese Deniboba in a fabulous 30:30 on the hilly course for a new course record and a cash prize. Deniboba hails from the Bronx, NY as well as the female overall winner, Alemtsehay Misganaw, in a 35:48. My suspicion is that they train together and traveled down here to mushroom country to win some nice cash for their superb running skills.
The first master was 49 year old Frank Perna from Bethesda, MD for a 37:23 and the female, master’s winner was Colleen Williams from Lincoln, University in 44 minutes flat.
When questioned about how she was feeling after her first race directorship of the Kennett Run, Nadiene Friedrich replied “The turnout was amazing, more than we expected. The weather was beautiful. I think everyone had a great time.” She continued, “We will not know for another month but we are hoping to give over $40,000 back to the community.” The top sponsors were Exelon and Kelly’s and many other local corporations contributed to the event.
I asked Nadiene who were some of the volunteers who helped out and she said,
“The Rotary and Lions Club, Longwood and Kennett fire company, state and local police along with Kennett High school students and many of our corporate and power run sponsors. “I did see a boys scout troop handing out water at mile two and they were very helpful as well. KAPRB had Claire FInfrock run the food area (with help from Kennett High School track members) and Allison Guzzio a local Kennett Square gal contributed her time as well in the PR position.
In other local running news Sara Finfrock has made it to the states for the POLE vault from Kennett High School. Good luck Sara and to all of the athletes from Unionville who will be competing today and tomorrow at Shippensburg University. Steve Yannocone in the 800 meter run, Perry Hopkins in the javelin and Ian Larsen for the boys pole vault. Courtney Smith, Annie Birkenmaier, Christine Mapa and 9th grade phenomenon Olivia Young in the 1600 meter run!
Go to Pennxc.com for updated results.