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Chester County Press

Despite washout, Kennett Run draws runners, walkers, spirit

05/10/2022 10:26AM ● By Richard Gaw

Photos by Richard L. Gaw        Bill Perkins and his daughters Taylor, Logan and Brett celebrate moments after crossing the finish line at the 32nd Kennett Run, held May 7 through a persistent rainstorm.

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Ten days before the start of the 32nd Kennett Run on May 7, Kennett Run Charities President Bob Merkle took his first look at the anticipated forecast for race day.

“It called for a 30 percent chance of occasional showers, and I thought at the time, ‘Oh, that should be okay,’” Merkle said 15 minutes before the start of this year’s race. “The forecast continued to get worse, but in comparison to other races – like the one in 2018 – it hasn’t been too bad.”

Ten minutes later, when runners were asked by Race Director John Ramagano to line up for the 10K run, Kennett Square’s most well-known race had become a full-blown quagmire. Scheduled as a rain or shine event, the start of each race tuned out to be the only form of reliability, as runners and walkers slip-sided their way through the muddy paths of Anson B. Nixon Park and through the pelting silver of rain that poured on Kennett Square.

Despite the rain, however, Saturday’s event signaled a return of what had been an annual Kennett Square tradition since 1989, until COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the 2020 race and a virtual run that was held in 2021.

While the torrential downpour may have changed the plans for hundreds of competitors, those who braved the weather in raingear and umbrellas demonstrated a fierce determination. For Courtney Rhodes of Landenberg, who arrived with her husband and children, sitting the race out was unthinkable.

“We’re a sign-up and show-up family,” she said. “We kept our spirits up by bringing our dog Paco with us.”

This year’s winners

In the Joe Hector 5K PoweRun, the winners were Wendy Getman in the women’s division with a time of 23:39 and James Lertola, who finished in 26:47 in the men’s division. In the 10K PoweRun, Megahn Edaon won the women’s division with a time of 50:11 and Jesus Juarez finished first in the men’s division with a time of 51:03.

In the 5K race, Aadav Venkatesh (44:15) and Abigail Lapsley (35:30) won the 9 and under division; Lucas Mohan (21:31) and Amelia Houck (23:20) took first place in the 10-19 division; Johnny Carnes (18:13) and Rachel Poe (26:40) won the 20-29 division; Andrew Hinrichs (17:52) and Kari Springer (21:20) took the 30-39 division; Brian Albans (20:48) and Kathryn Miller (21:39) finished first in the 40-49 division; Michael Galbus (22:31) and Hannah Christopher (27:58) won the 50-59 division; and Tom Ellis (22:01) and Dina Appleby (30:57) won the 60-69 division.

In the 10K race, Jeffrey Day (46:22) and Emma Lott (59:43) emerged victorious in the 10-19 division; Angel Rodriguez (37:45) and Kathleen Kalbian (42:39) won the 20-29 division; Nick Geigle (36:15) and Katelyn Gardner (46:15) took the 30-39 division; Adam Donell (40:08) and Renee Clewell (47:06) won the 40-49 division; Frank Perna (39:37) and Jackie Roberts (57:01) finished first in the 50-59 division; and Bradley Peiper (46:56) and Marjorie Adams (56:11) won the 60-69 division.

Nova Timing Systems served as the official timekeeper for this year’s Kennett Run.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].