Fire & Ice Fest a Hit Despite
Lack of Ice

BY GEORGE A. HANCOCK

SOMERSET, PA--The 10th Annual Fire & Ice Festival 5K was held Saturday, January 13, 2007. This out-and-back road race is part of the huge, successful Somerset Winter Festival. This is the 12th year for this very popular Somerset county event.

The Fire & Ice Festival is actually a three-day event. The weekend events begin early Friday morning. The Festival features food vendors, costumed characters, dances, auctions, live music, ice sculptures, a 5K race, arts and crafts, fireworks, and various other events. The mood is upbeat. The crowds are huge. Somerset can readily be reached via the Pennsylvania Turnpike from numerous statewide locations.

The 2007 Fire & Ice Festival was missing the main ingredient this year--snow and ice were very absent. The recent mild weather with temperatures approaching 60 degrees worried the Festival organizers.

The starting-line temperature was nearly 50 degrees. The skies were cloudy. A light, yet warm, rain fell that Saturday morning. The light rain gave way to a persistent drizzle.

The wet road conditions did not hamper the race-day efforts. The finishing times were quite swift for a January road race.

Former local resident Chris Sheftic, 45, won the 5K race in 16:48. Sheftic outkicked veteran Cambria County runner Jon Strayer. Strayer, 45, finished the 5K race in 17:07. Daryl St. Clair, 30, was third in 17:36.

The age-group winners posted some swift January times too. Tom Deakins won the 40-44 age group in 17:58. Elton’s Keith Neff led the 65-and-over runners with his 21:51 winning time. Warren Smith was the first 50-to-54 runner in 19:19.

Sarah Strayer, 17, was the first female 5K runner in 17:41. Morgan Eckenrode, 14, was second in 19:52. Michelle Wissinger, 34, was the third female runner in 20:14.

Kim Bennet, 54, won the 5K walk in 29:47. Sally Miller, 42, was the first female 5K walker in 33:57.

Thirteen walkers completed the 5K course. Ninety-four runners finished the 5K street course. Refreshments were available for the damp race participants. The 2008 Fire & Ice Festival 5K race is tentatively scheduled for January 19.

MALE

Overall

1. Chris Sheftic 16:48
2. Jonathan Strayer 17:07
3. Daryl St. Clair 17:36

10 and Under

1. Jeremy Pritts 22:07
2. Alex McCann 23:19
3. Eric Kuskoski 25:31

11-15

1. Logan Steiner 19:10
2. Zachary Pritts 24:19
3. Patrick O’Brien 31:01

16-19

1. Tyler Thomas 17:50
2. Zack Weimer 19:04
3. Matt Miller 25:12
4. Ethan Weimer 25:33

20-29

1. Dan Beyer 18:04
2. John Patton 19:37
3. Matt Johnson 23:08

30-34

1. Charles Beyer 20:50

35-39

1. Randy Wilson 18:28
2. Jim Beyer 26:16
3. Dennis Ero 31:41

40-44

1. Tom Deakins 17:58
2. Andrew Steinfeld 20:11
3. Randy Hillegas 20:17

45-49

1. Doug Ulishney 19:48
2. James Hoffman 20:34
3. Tom Minnick 20:40

50-54

1. Warren Smith 19:19
2. Joe Gilmore 19:24
3. Mike Houck 20:28

55-59

1. Chuck Thompson 22:59
2. Harold Pritts 25:59
3. John Nakich 29:45

60-64

1. Terry Dwyer 21:58
2. Michael Joyce 35:52

65 and Over

1. Keith Neff 21:51
2. John Stump 22:47
3. Carl Pritts 23:46

Walk

1. Kim Bennett 29:47
2. Tom Bower 29:50
3. William Obert 34:03

FEMALE

Overall

1. Sarah Strayer 17:41
2. Morgan Eckenrode 19:52
3. Michelle Wissinger 20:14

10 and Under

1. Madisson Steiner 23:51
2. Cece Pritts 35:20

11-15

1. Lindsay Steiner 21:28
2. Ruth Ongley 23:45

16-19

1. Rachael Sacksen 21:39
2. Elizabeth Illar 23:53
3. Faith Lambert 26:33

20-29

1. Jennifer Kinman 22:00
2. Angela Illar 24:35
3. Mary Rihn 24:49

30-34

1. Kim Mallin 22:21
2. Heather Reash 26:48

35-39

1. Laura Weimer 25:02
2. Susan Stepp 27:35
3. Connie Jack 29:43

40-44

1. Stacey Steiner 23:52

45-49

1. Brenda Chapple-Fulton 24:30
2. Lisa Hillegas 24:36
3. Sara Watson 27:38

50-54

1. Jean Papini 23:55
2. Tina Honkus 29:10
3. Eileen Melvin 33:58
4. Kathy Kuskoski 35:04

55-59

1. Kathy Mitchell 30:52
2. Janice Boyko 30:55
3. JoAnn Pritts 35:22

60-64

1. Linda Castrovillo 28:18

Walk

1. Sally Miller 33:57
2. Sherry Obert 34:10
3. Nancy White 34:19