Ben K-5K Draws Large Field
Eight years following its creation and the tragic death of Hustontown area resident Ben Knepper, the annual Ben K-5K continues to draw much interest and attention from avid runners as well as family, friends and members of the surrounding community.
Saturday morning outside Center United Methodist Church, participants and onlookers gathered to pay homage to Ben and support the continuation of the Ben Knepper Scholarship Fund that renders financial aid to Forbes Road High School seniors wishing to pursue a college education.
Race day organizers stated the July 27, 2013, race was not only “well-attended” but had the most participation by runners in the event’s eight-year history. Thirtyfour males and 35 females registered as runners, undeterred by the course’s hill-heavy route on Dublin Mills Road.
Leading up to the event, 121 individuals had preregistered taking advantage of the free registration offer. Additional sign-ups were reported on race day, leaving organizers with a registered participant total of around 180.
Many of those appearing for the race were newcomers having heard about the event through the media, social networking sites and former participants. In fact, several longtime event supporters found themselves coming out on top of the rankings in their respective age categories.
Commissioner Craig Cutchall, an annual participant and sponsor of the Ben K-5K, took home his very first medal, earning firstplace in the 56-and-over category. Kelly Souders, who has earned several first-place wins, was victorious in the 46-to-55 category, and Larry Sowers won the 36-45 age group.
Matt Kuhns, who first participated in the Ben K-5K last year, took home his second first-place win in the 26-35 division. Southern Huntingdon County resident Jacob Dean secured the male overall winner with his time of 18 minutes, 44 seconds as well as the 16- to-25-year-old category. A twotime winner, Jonathan “J.J.” Martz Jr. again took home top honors in the 15-and-under category.
Female winners included Southern Fulton athlete Jenna Hollenshead, who finished the race in 21 minutes, 47 seconds for top overall female and the 16-to- 25 age division. Michaela Kendall finished in first in the 15-andunder category to be followed by Brandy Kennedy in the 26-35 division; Mindy Horne, 36-45 division; Terri Booth, 46-55 division; and Alice Booth, 56 and over.
Community sponsorships held steady this year, bringing in large chunk of change to the scholarship fund. Those donating $100 or more to earn a spot on this year’s coveted race day shirts were Forbes Road Lions Club, Community State Bank of Orbisonia, Center United Methodist Church, Second Time Around, Commissioner Craig Cutchall, New Enterprise Rural Electric Co-op, Sandy Ridge Market, Knepper’s Feed Mill, Pineloft Contractors, Emory and Carol Parsons, Ketchum family, Lee family, Greg and Erma Henry family, Rotz-Mountz families, Roy Knepper family and Walters family.
Even though a final tally of money raised from Saturday’s race was not available, organizers are hopeful the sponsorships, Tshirt sales and minimal registration fees will be relatively equal to that raised in prior events. Furthermore, plans are already under way to streamline the overall organization of the process and recording the necessary race day information for next year’s muchanticipated event.