By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Overall numbers were down a bit for Saturday’s third annual Pumpkin Run in Champion.
But, that didn’t affect the enthusiasm of those who were there, said race coordinator Jill Moline.
This year’s three events—a 5K, 10-mile and half-mile run for the kids—drew 44 in all, 21 in the 5K, 14 in the 10-mile and nine for the kids’ race.
Moline believes a big wave of illness and flu going through the community here affected numbers for the races, which drew 40 in the 5K and 10-mile races and 37 youths last year.
In 2007, there were 26 runners in the 5K and 10-mile events.
Chilly temperatures and snow the weekend before might have affected the attendance, too, Moline noted, as cold temperatures continued through much of last week. She said she had a lot fewer preregistrations this year.
Two Imperial runners captured first in the 10-mile race, Jonathan Beverly and Deb Harmon.
Beverly’s time was just three seconds off last year’s male winner. Harmon’s time was about seven minutes faster than last year’s 10-mile winner in the women’s division.
Marty Hughes of Benkelman won the men’s 5K with a time 47 seconds faster than last year’s winner, while Leslie Hawkins took the overall win in the women’s 5K about three and a half minutes behind the 2008 women’s winner.
Kids’ race winners were Peyton Fiedler and Brady Gittlein.
Runners ran the same route as last year, which started and ended at Cox’s Ponds, where the Cox’s Pumpkin Patch was also in full swing for the weekend.
The runners passed through the town of Champion, then headed north where they were met with the hilly part of the course, before returning to the ponds.
Overall male and female winners in the 5K and 10-mile races all received special pumpkins with a #1 painted on them. The kids’ winners received decorated pumpkins.
The top three in each age group were also awarded medals.
All the kids in the half-mile event received candy and ribbons.
Runners hailed from Imperial, Champion, Brule, Benkelman, Grant and McCook.
Colorado runners came from Centennial, Deer Trail, Wray, Arvada and Fort Collins.
The race is sponsored by Chase County Tourism, Running Times Magazine and Imperial Super Foods.
Moline said they are already making plans for the fourth annual Pumpkin Run in 2010.
Here are the results from the 5K and 10-mile events.
Overall—Marty Hughes, Benkelman, 17:59 (50-59).
19 and under—Paul Gaschler, Imperial, 22.20; Destyn Milner, Imperial, 25.06; Will Spencer, Brule, 26.11.
40-49—John Paisley, Imperial, 23.47.
50-59—Ron Taylor, Champion, 23.41; George York, Centennial, Colo., 27.29.
60-69—Al Zuege, Imperial, 28.52.
Overall—Leslie Hawkins, Imperial, 24.04 (20-29).
19 and under—Shelby Richards, Brule, 26.10.
40-49—Jippi Milner, Imperial, 24.47; Renee Hamilton, Imperial, 27.59; Lynda Hoffman, Grant, 31.55; Tracy Beverly, Imperial, 37.42.
50-59—Deb York, Centennial, Colo. 27.37; Renae Bottom, Imperial, 29.18.
10 mile men
Overall—Jonathan Beverly, Imperial (40-49), 1:04.13.
30-39—David Spencer, Brule, 1:42.59.
40-49—Troy Swartz, McCook, 1:06.14; Brett Allendorf, Arvada, Colo., 1:16.14; Mark Bottom, Imperial, 1:16.27; Jeff Wallin, Imperial, 1:25.44.
50-59—Ray Chmiel, McCook, 1:14.24; Ray Texter, Wray, Colo., 1:17.15; John Hafnor, Fort Collins, Colo., 1:34.04; Jim Cooper, Grant, 1:34.7.
10 mile women
Overall—Deb Harmon, Imperial, (40-49), 1:25.17.
30-39—Misti Richards, Brule, 1:42.57; Lori Hafnor, Fort Collins, Colo., 1:42.14.
40-49—Martha Roe, McCook, 1:36.26.