Watson, Learn Win Riverfest 5K
The cool, damp start to the 2011 Riverfest 5K Run on Aug. 20 was welcomed by many of the participants who had run in much warmer events already this year. Approximately 70 men and women registered for the walk and run, which started at 9 a.m.
While the morning fog did not do much to affect visibility, overall winner Emmett Watson, 16, Canton, credited his first-place finish in part to the lack of a certain someone who has prevented his clear view of the finish line in the past.
“It’s a lot better than finishing behind your brother every year,” Emmett said of his win, in reference to older sibling, Garth Watson, with whom he had competed in the race in previous years. Garth, he noted, was unable to participate this year because he was moving into his dorm at Edinboro University. Emmett, who completed the race in 17 minutes and 42.14 seconds, also cited a relatively flat and unobstructed course that was appreciated by other runners as well.
Not far behind Emmett was Simon Smith, who took top honors in the male 11-14 age group with a time of 18:14.34. Emmett’s Canton High School teammate Eddie Larson ran the course in 18:18.29, taking third overall and second in the 15-19 division. Schuyler Smith finished right behind Eddie with a time of 18:47.07, locking up the 15-19 age group.
Top overall female finisher Violet Learn’s running history is similar to that of Emmett’s in that she has often finished behind her sister Susan, who is three years her senior. Violet is actually one of six avid runners in the Learn family, which is also from the Canton area. Violet, who was clocked at 19:53.56 and also took first place in the female 15-19 division, is homeschooled and runs for Mansfield University and North Penn High School. Susan did not participate in the Riverfest 5K this year, but her younger brother, Roger Learn, III did, taking first in the 10-and-under division with a time of 25:46.92.
Other family combos that produced winning results included Jessica Delamater, who took second in the female 20-29 age group at 24:26.41, and her father, Brad Delamater, who won the male 40-50 division with a time of 21:42.50.
Jessica Sivers’ family runs and rides bikes together, but she and her husband, Todd, alternate their participation in competitions so the other parent can wait with the children at the finish line. Jessica, who took second place in the female 30-39 division with a time of 27:05.77, noted that she just started taking running seriously about four years ago. She credited her father, Chuck Dewing of Rome, as her inspiration.
“I always thought it looked fun when he did it,” she stated. “I started slowly on a treadmill and worked up from there.”
Bill Mosier of Towanda shared his second-place finish in the male 50-59 division with his granddaughter, Ellie, who was sound asleep in the stroller that he pushed across the finish line in 24 minutes and 54.74 seconds. Ellie’s father, Steven Mosier, just returned from a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and is currently stationed in Kentucky.
Second in the female 15-19 group and among female runners overall was Erika Huffman, a Wyalusing Valley High School junior who qualified last spring in the PIAA 800- and 1,600-meter events. She ran the 5K in 21 minutes and 31.29 seconds. Additional top female finishers were Loren Soden at 27:31.83 in the 11-14 division, Tabitha Dunn at 22:25.51 in the 20-29 group, Nancy Kinner at 23:22.32 in the 30-39 division, Sharon May at 26:03.48 in the 40-49 age group, and Kay Patton at 28:16.34 in the 50-59 division.
Rounding out the list of first-place male participants were Jeffrey Shanks at 20:28.24 in the 20-29 age group, Chris Richlin at 22:10.09 in the 30-39 division, Frank Watson at 22:34.00 in the 50-59 group, and Robert Kern of Hornby, NY, at 24:07.49 in the 60-plus division.
Kern, 67, noted that he appreciated the view of the Susquehanna River as he ran up the Merrill Parkway toward the turning point just short of Route 6. “I’m more used to doing trail runs,” he stated, adding that the event at Towanda was very well organized.
In addition to the aforementioned, runners who took second place in their respective divisions included Cole Beckwith at 21:51.77 in the male 11-14, Shelby Park at 32:45.03 in the female 11-14, Christopher Coon at 25:54.47 in the male 20-29, Patrick Kielty at 22:21.59 in the male 30-39, John Voda at 25:48.92 in the male 40-49, Rita Braymiller at 26:31.37 in the female 40-49, Tonita Walters at 28:26.94 in the female 50-59, and Ron Robinson of New Albany at 29:15.84 in the male 60-plus.
“A little competition helps,” Robinson remarked to race organizer Les Sheridan shortly after finishing the race. “I ran it five minute faster than when I do it myself.” Robinson took up running as a form of fitness when he was 46. He cited his son, Bryan Robinson, a cross-country runner, as his inspiration. Ron now helps to organize the 5K walk and run that is conducted in association with the annual Albany Valley Fall Festival that is slated for Saturday, Sept. 24 this year.
Third place winners in the Riverfest 5K Run were Bryton Carrington at 22:04.59 in the male 11-14 division, Paige Bennett at 22:47.92 in the female 15-19 group, Angeline Ackerson at 28:44.74 in the female 20-29 division, Caleb Campbell at 22:53.12 in the male 30-39 division, Shannon VanSkiver at 26:34.38 in the female 40-49 group, David Malkemes at 29:54.36 in the male 50-59 division, and Mary Lou Kauffman at 30:43.47 in the female 50-59 age group.