A Run To Remember
Runners gathered outside Center United Methodist Church Saturday morning to pay their respects to the late Ben Knepper. An athlete, brother and friend to all who knew him, Ben died seven years ago just miles from his Hustontown home in an automobile accident.
Since that time, his friends, family and members of the community gather each summer to honor his life and accomplishments with a 5K race. The race saw the return of many familiar faces as well as some new raceday participants who wanted to try their hand at the hill-heavy race route that runs between Center and Dublin Mills churches.
Perhaps the most successful were among those new participants who took home the top male and female honors. Southern Fulton native Kelly Elbin was the overall female winner and also took the 16-to-25 female age division with her time of 24 minutes, 14 seconds. Meanwhile, Matthew Kuhns, a science teacher from the Chambersburg area, was the male overall winner and 26-35 male age group winner with his quick finish at 19:42.
Additional male winners during the seventh annual Ben K-5K were Forbes Road sophomore Jonathan “JJ” Martz, male 15 and under; Jaylen Martin, male 16 to 25; Steven Novak, male 36 to 45; Kelly Souders, male 46 to 55; and Rick Eichelberger, male 56 and over.
Female winners announced at the conclusion of the race were Forbes Road sophomore Morghan Taylor, female 15 and under; Forbes Road life learning support teacher/supervisor Terri Grissinger, female 26 to 35; Lesley Brechbeil, female 36 to 45; and Eileen Drexel, female 46 to 55.
Even though attendance numbers were slightly down overall, spirits ran high and many walkers still graced the race route. Whether they were pushed in a stroller or carried by their parents, every walker managed to complete the race whether they skipped, jumped or walked across the finish line on July 28.
While race day registration is an important factor in raising money for Ben Knepper Scholarship Fund, community sponsorships have continued to grow over the years. This year, a whopping 19 sponsors appeared on the back of the newly designed Ben K-5K race day T-shirts. Among those lending their financial support to the race were Community State Bank of Orbisonia; Sandy Ridge Market; Pineloft Contractors; Knepper’s Feed Mill; Waterfall Cable; Team Luzier Trucking Inc.; New Enterprise Rural Electric Co-op; Center United Methodist Church; Second Time Around; Forbes Road Lions Club; Roy, Jo & Hayden; Lynn and Julie Knepper; Commissioner Craig Cutchall; Sonny and Carol Parsons, the Rotz-Mountz families; the Ketchum family; the Lee family, the Walters family; and the Baker family of Needmore.