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Given respite from the rain, Kennett Run shines in the sun

05/17/2016 01:31PM ● Published by Richard Gaw

Gallery: Kennett Run 2016 [7 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Among the more than 1,500 competitors, race organizers and volunteers who participated in the 27th annual Kennett Run last Saturday, it was likely that every one of them fell asleep on Friday evening to the sound of pelting rain, the chorus of which implied an ominous forecast for the morning after.
While there is no firm proof that Race Gods exist, some form of a higher being, perhaps an empathetic presence clad in running shoes, gifted Kennett Square with a clear blue sky that held strong throughout the start of several races, and at Anson B. Nixon Park, where a party was held to honor the community.
Christopher Daney, the new president of the Kennett Run, woke up on May 14 at about 4:30 in the morning, and by the time he arrived at the Kennett Area YMCA for the annual Joe Hector PoweRun, the skies above were clear.
“We set the course up on Friday afternoon and it was drizzling a little bit, and all week, (Race Director) J.J. Simon and I were checking the weather, and getting kind of worried about Friday and Saturday,” Daney said. “Whenever you put on an outside activity, you're always hoping for a perfect day, and hope everything goes step by step. You couldn't wish for a better event.”
“(The Kennett Run) is not only a great way to kick off the spring, it's a fun event, but obviously, the support of the local non profits is huge,” said Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick. “It's great in so many ways, but there's a huge contribution back to those non profits.”
 The Kennett Run – and its partnering organization, Kennett Charities, Inc. – have come a long way in its 27 years, not only from the surge in the number of competitors, but in the funding the organization has been able to funnel back into the Kennett Square community. Its first event in 1990 drew the support of a dozen individuals and businesses, and attracted over 100 participants, several hundred spectators, and approximately 50 volunteers, and contributed $1,500 to local organizations. Since then, Kennett Run Charities has raised over $1 million in gift and in-kind donations toward local organizations.
The start of the event was delayed for about 20 minutes by a car accident that occurred along the race route, at Gatehouse Road and Route 82. Once the accident was cleared, the starting gun sounded for the 10K, the 5K and the one-mile run.
In the 5K men's category, Paul Springer won with a time of 16:42, followed by Cole Walker, who finished in 17:42, and Ben Marsden, who ran in 18:28. In the women's race, Casey Robinson won with a time of 20:19; Lexi Reilly finished second with a time of 20:28; and Muda B took third place with a time of 20:37.
In the 10K men's category, Kayle Dawson earned a first-place finish with a time of 31:57, followed by Daryl Brown at 32:01 and Angel Rodriguez, with a time of 35:00. Kari Springer took the women's 10K with a winning time of 38:35; Meghan Smith Smith finished in second place with a time of 40:40; and Nicole Huff took third with a time of 42:57.
While the Kennett Run may be a fun event by and for the community, the design of the course is not always the equivalent of a walk in the park for its participants.
“It's a very challenging course,” said Stephanie Daney. “People tell me the Kennett Run is a fun course. No, it's not fun. After three or four hills, you think you're in the home stretch, and another hill pops up, but once you've finished, it's an accomplishment.
“Every time I'm at another run and start to slow down, I say to myself, 'Come on. You did the Kennett Run. You can do anything.'”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.





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