By Rick Palsgrove
Colorfully costumed and inspired runners were not deterred by the gloom and rain from participating in the annual Running Scared 5K in Canal Winchester.
The Canal Winchester Chamber’s “Running Scared 5K” was a Halloween-inspired race and fun run held in Canal Winchester on Oct. 26. Participants ran or walked a 3.1 mile course or a 1-mile course. Each course began and ended at Roger Hanners Park on Groveport Road. The Running Scared 5K, presented by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, encourages runners, fitness enthusiasts, and costume-wearers of all ages to register early and “run for your life.” All money raised from the event benefits future community programming and activities.
Runners sported a variety of Halloween costumes. Some of the costumes sighted included a pair dressed as peanut butter and jelly, Steve the Pirate, a skunk, a Buckeye cheerleader, an alien, “Margarita Guy from Jurassic World,” a skeleton, a bee and beekeeper, and Captain America.
Captain America, portrayed by Jake Smithers of Canal Winchester, won the adult category of the event’s costume contest.
“I’m a huge Marvel fan and Captain America is my favorite hero,” said Smithers about his choice of costume. “I finally got all the pieces and parts of the costume together and I thought, ‘It’s time!’”
Bill Sims and Jessica Lee, who dressed as peanut butter and jelly, said they picked their costumes because they wanted something that would go together.
“Plus, we can wear these to any kind of party,” said Sims.
Jeb Riekert, 18, of Pickerington, who attends OSU-Newark and is a member of the Army ROTC there, won the men’s division of the Running Scared 5K with a time of 20:02. Molly Prochaska, 14, who attends Bishop Flaget in Chillicothe, won the women’s division of race with a time of 21:48.
“It’s a great course to run,” said Riekert of the Running Scared 5K course. “It’s nice and flat. It lets you see your opponents from front and back so you know how fast to run.”
Of the chilly, rainy weather on the day of the race, Riekert said, “It’s beautiful weather for running. It’s nice and cool. The rain cools you down.”
Prochaska said the Running Scared 5K course is one of her favorite courses.
“It’s different and diverse,” said Prochaska. “There’s nice trees and it’s interesting to run through the neighborhoods.”
An interesting aspect of the race is that participants had the option of carrying a pumpkin as they ran or walked. They got to keep the pumpkin if they successfully carried it across the finish line. The pumpkins were good sized and some racers were wary of the weight while others embraced the challenge.
Visit www.canalwinchester.com for information about the Canal Winchester Chamber of Commerce.