RUN­FEST

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state in­door track cham­pion in the 3,200-me­ter run this past win­ter, fin­ished ahead of run­ner-up and twin brother Jett, in 17:36. Devon Smith of Wal­dorf took third in the event in 18:37. There were 154 male and fe­male par­tic­i­pants com­bined in the 5K race.

The brothers’ fa­ther, Ge­orge, last year’s 5K win­ner fin­ished sixth over­all (19:57) in this year’s race to help spear­head the for­mi­da­ble Hall fam­ily.

The Hall fam­ily has had a strong pas­sion which also fea­tures an older set of twins in Jereamy and Joshua, for­mer long-dis­tance stand­outs at West­lake, now at Loch Raven (Pa.) and Sal­is­bury Univer­sity, re­spec­tively. The fa­ther of the Halls is cur­rently at the long-dis­tance run­ning coach at West­lake.

“I felt pretty good go­ing into the race. I just paced my­self the first mile to see how ev­ery­thing was,” said Jay Hall, also a 2012 run­ner-up fin­isher in the race. “I just wanted to keep the pace through­out the race and it was cool to see me and my brother fin­ish one, two and my dad fin­ish in the top six [as a fam­ily in the 5K]. We run to­gether all the time, so we just push each other it is al­ways a com­pe­ti­tion be­tween us.”

Head­lin­ing the women’s 5K was Sarah Far­bacher of La Plata, who placed first with a time of 23:34. Me­gan Gess­ford of Hugh­esville fin­ished run­ner-up in 23:39, while Kather­ine Gaus­mann of Re­ston, Va., came in third in 23:50.

“I had tons of fun at the race [to­day],” said Far­bacher, who ran the 10K last year and took 10th over­all. “Last year I ran the 10-miler so this was my first time run­ning the 5K course. It’s also the first time I’ve ever won a race. Run­ning through the ban­ner at the end was one of the coolest feel­ings ever.”

Far­bacher added that as she was com­ing up on the fi­nal mile of the race she had to turn it up to a dif­fer­ent gear.

“When we got back to the sta­dium, I checked my watch and knew we had about [four-tenths] of a mile left,” she said. “There was one girl rel­a­tively close be­hind me, but I knew I had enough in me to sprint those last tenths of a mile.”

The sport of run­ning has also grown on Far­bacher the last sev­eral years.

“I picked up run­ning in col­lege, so I’ve been run­ning for al­most four years,” she said. “I’m ac­tu­ally more of a dis­tance run­ner with a few half and full marathons un­der my belt, but I do the 5Ks for fun with my friend.”

The 10-miler, which had a to­tal of 67 fin­ish­ers, was won by Al­fonza Wil­lis of Te­mec­ula, Calif., who won the men’s race in a time of 1 hour 4 min­utes 47 sec­onds. Christo­pher Zabriskie of Port To­bacco came in sec­ond in 1:07:09 and An­drew Bon­ney of La Plata fin­ished third in 1:11:35.

Wil­lis, whose been in the Navy for over 20 years has been sta­tioned in Cal­i­for­nia for three years and is a Lieu­tenant Com­man­der at Naval Hos­pi­tal Camp Pendle­ton.

The for­mer foot­ball stand­out at Al­bany State Univer­sity started run­ning com­pet­i­tively in marathons in 1998.

“When I was at Mile 3 and we came down a hill there was a guy close to me and I just wanted to keep my 6:25 pace,” said Wil­lis, a for­mer foot­ball stand­out at Al­bany State Univer­sity and na­tive of Ge­or­gia. “Around Mile 8, I didn’t see any­body so I just started cruis­ing in. But this is not about win­ning, I just like run­ning and it was a great com­mu­nity event.

In the women’s 10-miler, Emily Mudd-Hen­dricks of La Plata, who placed run­ner-up in 2015, claimed the over­all top spot with a time of 1:17:40. Stephanie Krex, also of La Plata, fin­ished run­ner-up in 1:20:16. Lacy Knopik of Pom­fret was third over­all in 1:22:40.

“This was the cra­zi­est weather I have ever seen on race day,” said Mudd-Hen­dricks. “Freez­ing cold, to sunny and warm, to hail blow­ing side­ways with com­plete white out snow ... all in 1 hour and 17 min­utes. I couldn’t see two feet in front of me for the last 1.5 miles.”

Mudd-Hen­dricks added, “This year was the most fun I’ve ever had. I had my Fitlife Run­ning Club bud­dies with me. Some of them were run­ning their first race or long­est dis­tance. We trained to­gether for 11 weeks.”

Craig J. Ren­ner, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions for St. Charles Com­pa­nies, and one of the spon­sors of Satur­day’s event felt good about the turnout.

“Very pleased, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the weather con­di­tions,” he said. “We have a great venue, a chal­leng­ing course, and I think the event is well po­si­tioned to at­tract run­ners of all lev­els. A cou­ple of run­ners from Bowie who re­marked to a group of us how beau­ti­ful they thought the area was.”

PHO­TOS BY IRV­ING HARRIS

Sarah Far­bacher of La Plata, mid­dle, is pre­sented with the first-place medal af­ter win­ning the women’s 5K race at the St. Charles Run­ning Fes­ti­val at Wal­dorf’s Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium on Satur­day. Stand­ing from left, are Chik-Fil-A rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Flat­ley, Sarah Far­bacher, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions for St. Charles Com­pa­nies Craig Ren­ner and Charles County Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D).

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