The second leg of this year's Wayne County Triple Crown Series went off without a hitch this weekend. More than 150 runners of all ages and abilities descended on the HHS Athletic Complex to compete in the Habitat for Humanity 5K.
HONESDALE — Conditions were perfect for distance running this weekend and more than 150 runners turned out at the HHS Athletic Complex to take advantage.
Habitat for Humanity rolled out the red carpet Saturday morning for its 17th annual 5K run/walk, which is the second leg of the 2012 Triple Crown Series.
"I'm really happy with how everything went," longtime event organizer Debby Wolf told TWI Sports. "We always get great support from the community and we're very grateful."
A pair of familiar faces on the regional running scene were first across the line in each of the race's major categories.
Jason Kennedy finished first overall for the men. A 1999 Honesdale graduate who ran both cross country and track in high school, Kennedy stopped the clock at 17:39.18.
"It's a great course...one of my favorites," Jason said. "It's challenging in places, but I like that. I always enter a race looking to win, but I'm mostly just trying to run my best time. If I do that and I win, that's a nice bonus."
Cindy Batzel was the first female across the finish line. A 1991 graduate of Western Wayne who only began competing three years ago, Batzel covered the 3.1-mile course in a time of 20:41.38.
"I started running just as a stress reliever," Cindy said. "For me, it's a great way to decompress. This course is definitely challenging in spots because those hills just kind of sneak up on you. But, the conditions were great and that really helped."
The final race in this year's Triple Crown Series is scheduled for later this month. The Wayne County YMCA in once again sponsoring that 5K, which will take place Saturday, September 15th right back at the HHS Complex.
A Worthy Cause
Wayne County's Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1989 an since then has helped more than a dozen local families realize the dream of home ownership.
In fact, the organzition just recently finished up its 16th house and is already deep into preparations for a start on #17.
"We're pretty excited," Debby said with a smile. "Nothing is finalized yet, but we have a good lead on a piece of property and we're all anxious to get going."
On Saturday morning, local runners were the ones who got going. While Jason Kennedy and Cindy Batzel captured the overall crowns, many other familiar faces claimed divisional titles.
If results of Habitat's 17th 5K are any indication, the future of Honesdale cross country is looking especially bright. A trio of talented youngsters swept the top three spots in the Boys 15-Under bracket.
Caleb Jensen led the way, cruising home in a time of 17:44.16. Not far behind was Colin Rickard, who crossed the line in 18:10.63. Ben Wilken sealed the deal on a third place finish by stopping the clock at 19:17.25.
On the girls' side of the ledger, Haley West took top honors in the 15-Under division. Another Honesdale distance running prodigy, West covered the course in a time of 21:58.37.
She was chased home by Allison Werner (22:45.16) and Sydney Miller (23:09.69).
Other age bracket winners included...
•Mark Tetonis: Men 16-19 (18:35)
•Erin O'Neill: Women 16-19 (23:25)
•Steven Brown: Men 20-29 (17:42)
•Angie Franko: Women 20-29 (22:51)
•Mathew Fryer: Men 30-34 (20:25)
•Dawn Hornberger: Women 30-34 (28:13)
•Ken Shatzer: Men 35-39 (22:26)
•Christine Paprocky Women 35-39 (22:26)
•Martin Syebold: Men 40-49 (18:29)
•Jenny O'Day: Women 40-49 (26:37)
•Mark Dorish: Men 50-59 (21:12)
•Jo Lloyd: Women 50-59 (28:05)
•Ken Lohmeyer: Men 60-69 (23:07)
•Joan Hyman: Women 60-69 (30:47)