NORTH WEBSTER – Everyone has a motivation to run. Some for fitness, some for weight loss. Some just enjoy getting out in nature, some because they find a calling to do so. Both the male and female winners at Saturday morning’s Dixie Days 5K had their reasons that pushed, or pulled, them across the finish line ahead of the rest.
The ladies winner of the race, Jody Brown, actually was edged at the line in what the emcee could only call a ‘photo finish’ as Flash got there first. Which was OK for Brown, who ran the 5,000 meters with her trusty sidekick pup through the course. The two came across the finish at 23:26 and tenth (11th for the dog lovers) overall for the 5K. Brown, in her second Dixie Days 5K after running for the first time last year, was drawn to the course more than anything else.
“He’s a really good pacesetter, he motivates me to go faster and I love running with him,” said Brown holding Flash. The two hail from Plymouth. “This is a beautiful course and the weather was really nice. Coming around the lake, with the cool breeze, it was just ideal to run. The atmosphere and the neighbors are fun to run in as well.”
The overall winner on Saturday was Warsaw’s Adam Schaaf, who blistered his way through the course. Winning at 16:08, a full 1:31 better than runner-up Joseph Cholger of Rochester, Schaaf not only ran away with it, but set the example. An assistant coach with the Lakeland Christian Academy cross country program, Schaaf brought an LCA runner with him, David Plastow, and was just as excited to see Plastow set a personal mark with his time of 20:47, which was good for sixth overall.
“For me, as a coach, I’m winding down from my training season and I’m getting my athletes ready to go,” Schaaf said. “The season is starting here soon, and was really goof to get one of my guys out here and running. He finished with a PR today, so I was excited for that.
“I’m used to running hillier routes, and enjoyed how the course rolled a little bit. I let gravity run its course a little bit on parts, which helped. It was just a really scenic course, especially coming down the stretch at the lake. I was glad to get a win and get a good time. But was really happy to see one of my guys run well this early in the season with that PR.”
The tenth annual event began at the North Webster Community Center at the hub of the Dixie Days festival in North Webster. The race took runners down and past Webster Lake and the Dixie Sternwheeler, out to Backwater Road, and back to the finish line at the park where the Dixie was prepping for a busy Saturday on the lake. The event itself saw nearly five dozen people take part, including a pair of Captains from My Team Triumph. Kosciusko Runners Association handled the live timing for the event.
For full race results, visit the KRA page for the Dixie Days 5K.