It’s a Good Day for a Race!

360 run­ners, walk­ers par­tic­i­pate in 2018 Kutztown Fools Run

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - LOCAL NEWS - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @kutz­town­pa­triot on Twit­ter

The Kutztown Op­ti­mist Club wel­comed 360 run­ners and walk­ers to the 28th run­ning of the Kutztown Fools Run, which starts and fin­ishes on Col­lege Blvd. in front of the Kutztown Fair­grounds, on March 24.

“It gives peo­ple no rea­son at all to run,” laughed Kutztown Op­ti­mist Club Pres­i­dent Don Hick­man be­fore the race. “It’s good to start spring off, run­ning. This here is a good fundraiser for us. We use this to give away 10 schol­ar­ships to go out to youth out of four school dis­tricts that will be go­ing to Kutztown Univer­sity. That’s our main ob­jec­tive, that and have fun.”

Hick­man en­joys the op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with the run­ners.

“It’s spring. Peo­ple are glad to just get out and about. Just about ev­ery­body has a smile so it’s a fun event,” said Hick­man.

The Fool’s Run of­fers the Sally Mik­siewicz Me­mo­rial 5k and the Bob Focht 10 mile race for run­ners to chal­lenge them­selves on the roads sur­round­ing Kutztown. In ad­di­tion, walk­ers can go on the Op­ti­mist Club of Kutztown 2 mile walk.

Top run­ners for the 10 mile race were 1st Male Over­all Mike Car­riglito with a time of 1:00:39 and 1st Fe­male Over­all Dee Kout­sourais of Mohn­ton with a time of 1:06:11. First Male Masters was Evan Sandt of Con­estoga with time of 1:03:24 and 1st Fe­male Masters was Kathy West with a time of 1:10:23. The Youngest was Devin Keiter, 14, and Old­est was Ed­ward Ley­don of New Hope, 73.

Top run­ners for the 5K were 1st Male Over­all Brock Kline of Bernville with a time of 19:39 and 1st Fe­male Over­all Bethany Hix of Birds­boro with a time of 23:46. First Male Mas­ter was Adal­berto Tor­res of Al­len­town with a time of 20:02 and 1st Fe­male Mas­ter was Jen Shubzda of Em­maus with a time of 24:26. Youngest run­ner was Amy Mon­tanye, 7, of Len­hartsville and old­est was Robert McDon­ald, 80, from Strouds­burg.

Run­ner Barry Mertz, 61, from Max­atawny and his fam­ily ran in the Fools Run. They par­tic­i­pate nearly ev­ery year. This year, Barry ran in the 5K but he has run in the 10 mile in the past.

“It’s early in the year. It gets you off the sofa and gets you out here and start train­ing,” said Mertz. “From now on, I’ll just con­tinue run­ning through the year. This kicks off the sea­son.”

Mertz said the Fools Run is a great race, which in­cludes hot soup and snacks af­ter­wards.

“Look at all of the Kutz­tow­n­i­ans here. You know half the peo­ple here,” said Mertz. “It’s a good time had by all. See all of the peo­ple you haven’t seen since it started snow­ing in De­cem­ber.”

Mertz knew Don­ald Peters, who the schol­ar­ship fund was named af­ter, and he knew Sally Mik­siewicz who the 5k was named af­ter.

“It’s a great thing and raise some money for the stu­dents,” said Mertz. “Race di­rec­tor Don Sech­ler does a great job here. It’s one of the best run races all year long.”

Kutztown Op­ti­mist Club Fools Run race di­rec­tor Don Sech­ler said the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants this year is lower in com­par­i­son to pre­vi­ous years, not­ing they have had as high as 450 run­ners in 2017. Sech­ler be­lieves the Fools Run brings the com­mu­nity to­gether.

“We have peo­ple who prob­a­bly wouldn’t see each other. They come here and re­new their friend­ships with other peo­ple from out­side our com­mu­nity. That’s a good thing. That shows the friend­li­ness of Kutztown,” said Sech­ler. “It’s such a nice day, it’s hard not to smile. It’s a good day for the run­ners.”

Pro­ceeds from the run ben­e­fit the Don­ald Peters Me­mo­rial schol­ar­ship fund, which awards schol­ar­ships to grad­u­at­ing seniors of Kutztown, Brandy­wine Heights, Ham­burg and Fleet­wood school dis­tricts that are plan­ning on at­tend­ing Kutztown Univer­sity.

“The money raised stays here in Kutztown and is used for ed­u­cat­ing our youth,” said Sech­ler.

The Op­ti­mist Club has been able to pro­vide $1,000 schol­ar­ships to two seniors from each of the four school dis­tricts for a to­tal of more than $250,000 given since the in­cep­tion of the Run. Also there is a $1,000 schol­ar­ship to the Kutztown Univer­sity Foot­ball team schol­ar­ship fund for their con­tin­ued support of vol­un­teer­ing on the run­ning routes of the Fools Run.

The fund­ing for the schol­ar­ships comes from many sources in­clud­ing busi­ness spon­sors, race en­try fees for run­ners, and do­na­tions from in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Next year’s Fools Run is sched­uled to be held on March 30, 2019.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.kutz­town­fool­srun.com.

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Barry Mertz, 61, of Max­atawny, far right, and his fam­ily par­tic­i­pate nearly ev­ery year in the Kutztown Fools Run.

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The 2018 Kutztown Fools Run 5k Youngest run­ner was Amy Mon­tanye, 7, of Len­hartsville.

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