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Chester County Press

The KSQ Mushroom Cap 13.1: The new benefit race in town

02/09/2016 01:20PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

The daily morning runs of Karen DiMascola and Sarah Nurry may follow different pathways, but their collective sense of community have merged together as one.

Nearly every morning, DiMascola rises at 4:30, and runs along the country back roads of southern Chester County – at a time of the day when her husband and two children are still fast asleep, when the collision of sunrise and fog cascade over the rolling hills near the convergence of Wollaston and Mill roads.

About five hours later, after she gets her husband and four children off to work and school, Nurry tackles the up and down topography of her hometown, at the time when Kennett Square is filled with the scents of cafes and restaurants, and dotted with familiar faces.

DiMascola and Nurry are friends, joined together not only by their love of running but by a lacrosse team their sons both belong to. Last fall, while attending a lacrosse event, Nurry asked DiMascola about a recent race DiMascola had just run.

"Karen said that the course was nice, but nowhere as nice as the places she runs in the area," Nurry said. "Then she turned to me and said, 'Wouldn't it be great to bring a half marathon to Kennett Square?'"

Soon after, the 1st Annual KSQ Mushroom Cap 13.1: A Celebration of Chester County – was born.

Scheduled for Oct. 15 at 7 a.m., the 13.1 mile race will start and finish at Kennett High School, and weave its way through Kennett Borough, Kennett Township and East Marlborough Township. A post-race event will be held at the Genesis HealthCare parking garage beginning at 10:30 a.m., and will feature food and beverages.

The half marathon event is operating under the umbrella of Run2 Shine, Inc., the non-profit organization that DiMascola and Nurry began last fall.

Although Kennett Square has been the home of the annual Kennett Run since 1995, the inclusion of the Mushroom Cap half marathon this fall is intended to be a collaboration, not a competition, DiMascola and Nurry said. Although the lengths of the respective competitions may vary, both races share a common thread: a sense of community. Run2Shine, Inc. has selected Family Promise of Southern Chester County and The Garage Community & Youth Center as the beneficiaries of the race, as well as several other local businesses who will provide assistance to the race this fall.

"The Kennett Run people have been incredibly supportive," DiMascola said. "It's a great companion event to ours, because the five and ten K distances of the Kennett Run will serve as the perfect training point to run a half marathon in the fall."

"We felt that although the Kennett Run has been incredibly successful, that there is a need for a half marathon for this community, one that may put Kennett Square on the map, in terms of half marathons," Nurry said.

While DiMascola and Nurry work to put together the puzzle piece logistics of the race – securing partnerships with local businesses and building a volunteer base, for instance – they've already secured the services of race director David Berger, a head coach with the Hockessin-based Progressive Fitness Coaching, LLC.

They're also letting the public get a head start on registration for the event. On Feb. 14, the KSQ Mushroom Cap 13.1 will be selling a limited batch of tickets on their new website, at a discounted fee of $70.

"Our main purpose is getting the word out, to let runners know that the event is happening later in the year," Nurry said. "We want the area running community to know that we have this event in the making."

To learn more about the Kennett Square Mushroom Cap Half Marathon, Run2Sine, Inc. and to register for the Oct. 15 event on Feb. 14, visit, or visit

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail


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