Ontelaunee Park 5K benefits NWL Educational Foundation
Something was new at the 5K run and walk sponsored by the Northwestern Lehigh Educational Foundation at Ontelaunee Park.
Valerie Creitz, communications director, said a 10K run was added and people were excited about it.
“Excited a lot,” Creitz added.
She said there was a record turnout with the preregistration and the table set up for last minute registrations was kept busy. Registration ended with more than 150 racers.
Jason Boushell organized the run.
Ken Kistler, the foundation’s first president, had an idea for something that would help the school and the foundation was born.
People said he was always ready to help. Everything he worked with made a strong impact on the community.
His son, Mike, is still on the board.
DJ Wolbert, president of the foundation, said events such as the races are important to fund things for the school district.
The foundation has donated more than $1 million in less than 10 years.
Wolbert expects they can raise a second million with community and business help. The businesses receive an educational investment tax credit.
Boushell said Amazon and United Way provide financial help to the foundation for people who sign up for them.
Pretzel City Sport set up the course with the start and finish signs in the appropriate places. A chart was in place and as people came through the finish line a tag was pulled off their number and placed on the chart.
Primary sponsors were Nestle Waters, which supplied the water and Comfortek which provided shirts. Eric Andreus of Nestle is a member of the Educational Foundation. He is also a frequent winner in the race.
Donations were also provided by Weis, Weg-mans and Ambition Gym. Last year, a participant asked why they did not have a 10K run.
Over winter, the organizers discussed the idea and, by spring, they decided to go for it with participants running the same course twice.
Members of Community Fire Company, New Tripoli, closed roads and were at every intersection to be sure people followed the right route and there were two water stations along the route.
Boushell said the light rain would keep everyone cool, but the rain did not last long and everyone came home hot.
“Are you ready?” and with a resounding “yes,” the word to “Go” was given.
There were strollers from singles to twins and even one for triplets. While most stayed behind, some did the course with their parents.
Some of the children left behind found a friend and raced around the pavilion two-by-two.
Wolbert said many people had chosen the 10K, and the fact there were more sponsors was wonderful.
Andrew Brown crossed the 5K finish line with a time of 19:15.64. Samuel Bower was on his tail with a time of 19:29.13. Cole Chukoskie had a time of 28:28.57.
The 10K race runners started coming in with Eric Andreus leading the pack. Ellen Grow was the first female and Karen and Todd Leiser were accompanied by their dog, who did a good job of drinking from a water bottle.
Each person passing the finish line was met with “Good job, good job.” Daniel Clare was 106th.
His sister said they would be back at Ontelaunee Park the following day for a birthday party for sister Lily, 11.
Overall winner in the 5K was Andrew Brown.
The overall female winner was Alison Berlet and the overall male winner in the 10K was Eric Andreus.
Overall 10K female winner was Ellen Grow.
The announcer said he had something special to say about the third place winner in the 10K because it was Lissa Opolsky, who pushed a twin stroller the entire distance.
Anyone under 9 years who did not win a medal received one anyway.
Boushell said he did not know how their little legs could make it.