When the Bucks 5K Series was looking to fill a mid-April vacancy in its 2023 schedule, it was hopeful a brand new race called the Be Kind 5K would uphold the tradition.
Judging by the smiles on the more than 400 runners this past Saturday morning at Holicong Park in Buckingham, that wish became reality.
The inaugural event, whose proceeds benefit the Kin Wellness and Support Center in Furlong for local cancer patients, was well received and drew plenty of praise from numerous veteran runners.
“Very well organized and a tremendous turnout,” said Bucks 5K Series official Johnny King-Marino, who hosts his own Break-Fast 5K/10K (Bucks 5K Series) race in June. “The race team did a fabulous job. It looked like a 10th-year race, not a first-year race.”
Kin Wellness and Support Center founder and director Keith Fenimore put the whole event together. His race committee spent the better part of a year securing all necessary components to make the 5K and 1-mile fun run a success.
“I loved the course,” King-Marino said. “Spectators can see the runners go past two or three times. I love running over terrain I’ve already hit once because you know what to expect.”
Recent U.S. track and field masters champion (800 meters) Lorraine Jasper, a cancer survivor, ran in the race and won her age group. Later, she spoke at the awards ceremony and offered encouragement to local projects such as Kin.
And she enjoyed the whole experience at Holicong Park.
“I thought the race went very smoothly and was well organized,” she said. “There were course managers all around the place. I had no idea where I was going but I didn’t have a problem following it so that was fine.”
Doylestown’s Josh Izewski, one of the top long-distance runners Bucks County has ever produced, won the men’s title in a spectacular time of 14:55.
Tyler Tomlinson of Doylestown placed second in 18:26 and Perkiomen’s Matthew Brown was third in 19:05.
On the women’s side, Hannah Borish of New Hope was first in 19:51. Kellie Shimer of Richlandtown placed second in 20:24. Deanna Otranto of Pipersville was third in 21:18.
Fenimore deserves a great deal of credit for putting together such a polished event in a short timeframe.
“It exceeded my expectations,” he said. “It was an imposing undertaking to pull off. I was doing it for the good of the non-profit. We not only had a great turnout but we had great exposure (for Kin Center).
“For me, to be part of the Bucks 5K Series and pull off an event of this magnitude was unbelievable. I’m already starting to think about how to make it better next year.”
For more information on the Kin Center, visit www.welcometokin.org
>Bucks runners excel at Boston
Despite some less-than-ideal weather conditions in the 127th Boston Marathon on Monday, runners from Bucks County and the Roadrunners Club once again turned in some speedy times.
This was somewhat of an emotional day because it marked the 10th anniversary of the infamous bombing near the finish line which took three lives and injured countless others.
“My family and I attended the memorial service on Saturday for the 10th anniversary,’’ noted Langhorne’s Pete Lederer, who ran his 20th consecutive Boston Marathon. “They did a nice job of keeping it simple for everyone.”
As for the race, sporadic rain didn’t hold down the annual big crowds of spectators lining much of the 26.2-mile route.
“Even with the rain, the crowd support was amazing,” Lederer said. “The entire city and surrounding towns embrace the race like no other.”
Janet Lewis ran her seventh Boston Marathon and always enjoys the entire weekend.
“We had over 25 runners from BCRR – it was great to share the experience,” she said. “We got to support each other all weekend and that was very special.
“Boston is about so much more than the run. The spectators are amazing and it felt like the energy was back to pre-COVID levels. Coming into the final mile, everyone was going absolutely nuts. I was totally exhausted and hurting but they carried me to right on Hereford (Street), left on Boyleston (Street) to the finish line.”
Joe Holton brought along his children for the first time and they may have helped inspire him to break the three-hour mark.
“They provided a much-needed boost to get me to the finish line,” Holton said. “As expected, the crowd support along the course was amazing. The rain started to come down heavy toward the end but the crowd noise only intensified.”
The complete list of Bucks County Roadrunners Club finishers:
Jamie Gray 2:48.40; Pete Lederer, 3:21.14; Joe Holton, 2:58.12; Ethan Frank, 2:58.58; Tim Bulat, 2:57.17; Chris Carabello, 3:07.09; Pat Donadio, 3:09.50; Kayley Heller, 3:26.33; Kevin Mckale, 3:17.37; Colin Quinn, 3:12.18; Janet Lewis, 3:44.54; David Buchanan, 3:29.29; Morgan Leh, 3:31.42; Lauren Trinsey, 3:31.33; Pete Carideo, 3:25.12; Lori Wade, 3:23.24; Gwendolyn Krenzle Stia, 3:26.59; Ian Smith, 3:43.33; Eileen Mannix, 4:14.24; Anne Kathryn Bromm, 4:31.14; Stephanie Young, 3:49.48; Lisa Kuliczkowski, 3:29.46.
In addition to the BCRR finishers, Plumsteadville Volunteer Fire Company’s battalion chief Jessica Clymer reached the finish line in 4:50.47.
Congratulations to all!
Rock the Nock 13.1-miler/10K/5K, 7:30 a.m., Quakertown. Contact www.runsignup.com