Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Through raindrops, 965 runners compete at 2024 Kennett Run

05/08/2024 07:00PM ● By Richard Gaw
Through raindrops, 965 runners compete at 2024 Kennett Run [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

As Rachel Bilotta waited for the start of the 35th Kennett Run at Anson B. Nixon Park on May 4 beside her mother and two children, she was both anticipatory and apprehensive.

For the Downingtown resident, running had only come into her life last October, and while her newfound fitness journey took her to several bootcamp training classes, the Kennett Run would serve as her first competitive race, but instead of selecting to run a 5K, she chose otherwise.

“I had heard about the Kennett Run in the past, and when I registered for this year’s race, I decided to go big or go home,” Bilotta said. “At first, my decision to begin running was merely to stay in good shape, but over the past several months, it’s become so much more. My goal today is just to finish in an upright position.”

For the majority of the 965 runners who competed in this year’s Kennett Run, they shared the same sentiment as Bilotta: to cross the finish line and enjoy the spirit of competition, but in a déjà vu scenario reminiscent of the splashdown Kennett Run in 2022, the morning’s gray skies quickly gave over to a light but consistent rain that followed the 5K and 10K competitors through the park onto North Walnut Street and along State Street. While the rain was not as torrential as it was two years ago, it did serve as a slight hindrance, as did road construction barriers in the borough. 

As the top finishers for the 5K event began to cross the finish line less than 20 minutes later, the weather gave way to a sense of frivolity that was heightened by a kicked-up version of the Kennett Run’s annual Party in the Park that saw it extend to 1 p.m. and include not just the usual back-end races such as the 1-mile walk and Kids Pond Run but performances by local high school bands, a mascot race and live music.

Top finishers

In the 5K PoweRun, first-place finisher Jack Reichert, 18, won with a time of 19:23/54 reps, followed by 16-year-old John Reichert (21:17/50 reps) and 14-year-old Gavin Bariletto (24:00/48 reps). In the 10 K PoweRun, 65-year-old Bill McGurk finished with a time of 52:16 and 62 reps, followed by Andrew Charney, 32 (44:16/50 reps) and 32-year-old Morgan Jaffe (53:28/41 reps).

This year’s 5K race was won by 16-year-old Chase Kalesh of Landenberg, with a time of 18:29, who was followed by second-place finisher, 32-year-old Josh Topper of Landenberg (18:46) and third-place finisher Josh Poulton, a 16-year-old from Landenberg (19:05). Thirteen year-old Kaitlin Kipp of Avondale was the top female finisher with a time of 19:44.

In the 10K category, 19-year-old Caden Young of Kennett Square won with a time of 37:32, followed by 15-year-old Aarnav Behari of Landenberg (38:19) and 43-year-old Juan Carlos Alvarez of Kennett Square (38:25). Oxford resident Jennifer Dangelo, 46, was the top female finisher with a time of 45:44.

The 36th Kennett Run will be held on May 3, 2025. To learn more, visit

As Bilotta crossed the finish line one hour, seven minutes and three seconds later, she knew that it would not be her first and only competitive race, just the first one. She has already booked a hotel room for her and her family in Philadelphia for the last weekend in November, when she plans to enter the Philadelphia Marathon.

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