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Kent Cornucopia 5k Hosts State Championship

 

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       JERRY’S KIDS

 

By Dennis Zaborac
with photos by Bruce Fisher

7/13/19 – Kent

 

     ………. The 2019 Silver Strider State 5k Championship

As we get older, “just a kid” is a term we use to characterize anyone younger than ourselves. For a person as old as Jerry Dietrich, that “anyone” is pretty much everyone. So, when Jerry lined up more than two hundred Striders for the Silver Strider’s Championship 5k at the Kent Cornucopia 5k on July 13, 2019, he put together quite a family of old kids.

The Strider’s 5K Championship race was a spinoff of the highly competitive “Battle of the Boomer’s” races of 2016 to 2018. Jerry’s hard work to recruit the top senior runners in the state to once again battle each other was very successful. Many of the seniors outran much younger runners and proved that there still was some bang left in the Boomers.

The race ran the traditional flat out and back course along the Green River. The weather was cold, warm, and hot depending on who you asked and when you asked them. It was a festive, yet stressful, race for many of the top senior runners. They knew there was a possibility that they would only see the back of their competitors for the whole distance. They came prepared to cash in their Silver Strider shirt for the guaranteed 10 Grand Prix points.

Four out of the top five finishers were teenagers.

The first Strider male was a newcomer to the Striders, Steve Heaps with a time of 19:08. He finished 6th overall.

Carol Sexton led the women Striders with a time of 21:32. She finished 2nd overall for the women.

Following them, in waves of grey, were other Strider kids. Awaiting all finishers at the finish line was “The Popsicle Man” from The Kent Bowl.

The Popsicle Man, Dennis Zaborac, (on the right) distributes Popsicles to all finishers.

The flat course did have a few bumps in the road. A blip in the timing software and a misunderstanding of who would get plaques left a few runners searching for their times and awards.

Mark Hendrickson – Race Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The race director, Mark Hendrickson, did a great job moving fast to make everything right. If he were wearing a chip, he may have won his own race. Everything was corrected, and award plaques are now being mailed to those second and third place age group winners 50 and over.

All in all, the first Silver Strider’s 5k Championship race was a fun and fast event. Our thanks goes out to Jerry for putting it together for his kids. And maybe next year he will let that popsicle man from Kent Bowl run. After all, he is “just a kid” too.

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View From The Back
by Betty Dietrich

Reading Dennis’ account of the exciting championship race held in Kent last weekend, I thought I would share a few thoughts about this excellent race from one who was at the back of the pack.

Anticipation was in the air, as Jerry and I drove to the race.  Right off the bat, we were directed to a change in the parking venue.  This had us concerned since it appeared it would be a long trek to the starting line. We circled several streets before finally landing in the Columbia Distributing parking lot. A few yards on a dirt path led to the Green River trail and, to our surprise and relief, the start line.

The registration area was filled with runners and you could feel the energy as the elite athletes warmed up before the race.

Along with the hares, those of us who could accurately be called tortoises, stretched and got ready to jog, walk or stroll.

The Kent Cornucopia Days 5k has been a crowd favorite for years.  It is a flat, fast course.  It is well-organized.  The entry fee for those under 60 doesn’t break the bank.  And for runners 60 years of age and older, the entry fee is FREE, thanks to the generosity of Kent Bowl. So it comes as no surprise, that of the 404 finishers, 206 were Silver Striders.  That is a whopping 51%

I positioned myself at the very back of the pack among the other tortoises.  When the gun went off, I began my customary mix of a 5 minute walk, 5 minute jog.  The nice thing about being part of the back of the pack is the sense of enjoyment you experience from those who are living in the moment – glad to be outside doing what they love on a beautiful summer day.

I barely got started, when It seemed like the elite runners were already heading back to the finish. Everyone around me was thrilled to witness this fantastic race, cheering and applauding the awesome athletes as they zoomed by.

On the way back, I found myself looking forward to the cold popsicle I knew would be waiting for me at the finish line.

Seeing all our friends after the race is one of the things I love most about racing.  Looking around at all the tongues smeared with brightly colored popsicle flavors, I couldn’t help but laugh.  Mine was orange!

After the awards, a big group of us headed to the Azteca Mexican Restaurant for a post race brunch.  This has been a tradition for the past few years and Azteca welcomes the Silver Striders by opening their doors early for us. (Restaurant photos by Steve and Patty Husko)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We celebrated July birthdays with a delicious cake.  Tiare Bailey, Michele Dean, Dave Anderson, Dave Sherman and Steve Husko donned sombreros, while they were treated to fried ice cream and serenaded by the waiters.

Happy Birthday (l to r) Dave Sherman, Steve Husko, and Dave Anderson.

Happy Birthday Michelle Dean (on left) and Tiare Bailey

 

 

Jerry introduced 2 new Grand Prix players – Wendy Sweeney and Cam Kennedy were given a warm welcome.

New Series players Wendy Sweeney (left), and Cam Kennedy.

It was an exciting day for Gretchen Ramsdell.  She ran her 100th race and became a member of the Century Club Hall of Fame.  Congratulations, Gretchen!

Gretchen Ramsdell – Century Club member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you came in first or last, it was a day to remember!

 

 

 

 

 

                    Results in photos by Bruce “Flash” Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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