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Chester County Press

Nearly 700 competitors participate in 8th Mushroom Cap 5K Half Marathon

11/08/2023 12:12PM ● By Richard Gaw
Nearly 700 competitors participate in 8th Mushroom Cap 5K Half Marathon [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

Just before 8 a.m. on Nov. 4, exactly 1,342 running shoes positioned themselves in an athletic scrum at the start of the 8th Mushroom Cap Half Marathon and Fungi 5-miler along Birch Street in Kennett Square. 

By the time the last runner crossed the finish line three hours and 27 minutes later, what began the morning as two distinctive races had morphed itself into a celebration of camaraderie and community, with post-race nourishment provided by Sovana Bistro and beverages by Penn Beer.

Backed by the support of corporate sponsor Chatham Financial, more than one dozen area businesses and 130 volunteers, this year’s Mushroom Cap Half Marathon and Fungi 5-miler drew 671 entries for races that wove their way through Kennett Square Borough and parts of Unionville and dotted by nutrition stations along the routes. 

Among 224 entries, the top finishers in the Fungi 5-Miler were Otto Cao of Oxford (30:51); Theo Penders of West Chester (31:31): and Tim Beatson of Landenberg (32:18). Top women finishers included Amy Peloquin of Kennett Square (36:32); Lara Costa of West Grove (37:59); and Acacia Schelp of Kennett Square (39:18).

The Mushroom Cap Half Marathon drew 447 entrants, and was won by Charlie Schuetz of Mendham, N.J. with a time of 1:15:55. Elaine Estes of Philadelphia finished second with a time of 1:19:47 and Chris Rinschler of Downingtown finished third with a time of 1:19:41. Other top women finishers included Elizabeth Doherty of Lancaster (1:28:27); Emily O’Neill of Chester Springs (1:34:04); and Sandy Howe of Philadelphia (1:34:21).

Begun in 2015 by founders Sarah Nurry and Karen DiMascola, the annual race serves as charitable event coordinated by Run2Shine, the fundraising wing of the event. Over the past seven years, it has donated more than $70,000 to area non-profit agencies that provide advocacy, education, health and assistance to families throughout Southern Chester County. 

To learn more about the Mushroom Cap Half Marathon, and to make donations to Feeding America and Kennett Area Community Service, visit

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