Mifflinburg Attracts Largest Field in 24 Years;
What Keeps the Runners Coming Back?

BY SHANNON HOFFMAN

MIFFLINBURG, PA- Almost two and a half decades ago, a committee of three directed the first Fourth of July 5K at the Mifflinburg Community Park. It was a modest crowd that year, but since then, modest evolved to massive. This summer’s race boasted a record 424 participants. (The former record was 347.)

Running away from the pack were Travis Joseph and Laura-Beth Crossett. Joseph, a 2006 graduate and runner from Lewisburg High School, crossed the line in 16 minutes and 53 seconds. The next finisher behind Joseph was Kip Hoffman of Watsontown in 17 minutes and 15 seconds, edging out an athlete he coached at Warrior Run High School, Shawn Lively, by two seconds.

On the women’s side, Crossett finished in 18 minutes and 42 seconds. Katie Sick of Millville finished next in 19 minutes and 12 seconds, just eight seconds ahead of Casey Miller of Lewisburg. Tight competition is not new between these two young runners, who raced each other several times this past year throughout the high school cross-country and track seasons.

The runners trekked the 3.1-mile course which has not changed much since the race began 24 years ago. The only adjustment made was when a re-measurement indicated the starting line had to be pushed back a few yards. The course is predominantly flat, but about a mile and a half in there is a hill that current director Don Bowman says is part of the draw for the race. “The hill provides a challenge for runners that they like and the fact that the rest of the course is flat and fast seems to provide an attraction as well so in three-plus miles you have speed and the challenge of a hill.”

More than a great course has made Mifflinburg the largest 5K race in the area. Bowman says that the rest of the holiday attractions in the community add to the excitement of the day. The pool, located at the park, offers free admission to all racers and their families. Other events of the day include kids’ games, a pet parade, homemade food, musical entertainment, and fireworks, many of these being funded by the Mifflinburg 5K.

Bowman and the race committee, which has grown since 1983 from three members to seven, anticipated a large race this year based on the number of pre-registrants. There were 257 runners pre-registered, 70 more than last summer.

Bowman says that every year when race day rolls around, there is some level of anxiety for the committee. “There is always something that is going to happen,” he says, listing some of the unpredictable incidents from past years. “We had someone in the kids’ race cut the course two years in a row. One year, there was a kid who was almost seriously hurt in the parking lot. This year, we had the ambulance finish with the leaders, and we are looking into how that happened.” This summer, there was an extra dose of anxiety about the finish line due to the exceptional number of racers. To adjust to the large field, the chute was divided into three lanes, a system that Bowman says worked marvelously.

Another option being discussed for future races is chip timing. However, Bowman says that with how smoothly the three-chute finish worked, the committee may stick with their current company, InstaResults.

In its first year, the race was sponsored by four businesses. These initial sponsors were the Mifflinburg McDonalds, IGA, Mifflinburg Bank and Trust, and Buffalo Valley Telephone (now D & E Communications). As the race has grown, four more businesses jumped onboard – Evangelical Community Hospital Fitness Center, Farm and Home Oil Co., Green Ridge Graphics, Kuhns Bros. Log Homes, Inc., and The Daily Item.

The support staff on race day has also grown over the years. “We used to struggle to get 20 people,” says Bowman. Now the committee can count on almost 30 volunteer workers to show up, including several high school students from the Mifflinburg National Honors Society.

As exciting as this record-setting race was, there’s a good chance that next year will be even greater. “Since this coming year is our 25th we are looking at options to make the race special for everyone involved.”

 

Male

Age Category Name Time

Overall Winner- Male Travis Joseph 16:53

 

14 and under
1. Andrew Hess 19:11
2. Matthew Gordon 19:29
3. Dillon Culp 21:09

15-18
1. Tyler Erhard 17:37
2. Nathan Leighow 17:49
3. David Nicholson 18:22

 

19-24
1. Shawn Lively 17:17
2. John Harrison 18:06
3. Adam Moore 18:09

25-29
1. Jermiah Allen 18:54
2. Josh Criswell 21:23
3. Jared Sholley 23:18

 

30-34
1. Kip Hoffman 17:15
2. Steve Templin 18:17
3. Craig Wood 19:16

 

 

 

Age Category Name Time

35-39
1. James Wenger 18:24
2. Jesse Greenwalt 20:35
3 Fred Colyer 21:11

40-44
1. Dan Kirk 17:59
2. Jeff Smucker 18:07
3. Ken Wright 19:19
.

45-49
1. Al Fox 19:13
2. John Uehling 19:20
3. Scott Sick 20:04

 

50-54
1. Bob Welby 19:00
2. Randy Stroble 19:06
3. Pedro Romero 19:39

55-59
1. Graham Rogers 20:06
2. Paul Noll 22:31
3. Charles Dinsmore 23:20

60 and over
1. Terry Larson 20:59
2. Alan Stiefel 21:20
3. Tom Gates 26:59

 

 

Female

Age Category Name Time

Overall Winner-
Female Laura Beth Crossett 18:42

 

14 and under
1. Shannon Wright 20:51
2. Yelena Share 22:05
3. Mary Challman 23:50

 

15-18
1. Katie Sick 19:12
2. Casey Miller 19:20
3. Sophie Ziemian 19:29

 

19-24
1. Tamara Pavlov 19:47
2. Jillian Moser 20:08
3. Ashley Shuck 20:42

25-2
1. Kelly Fohringer 21:25
2. Angela Motto 23:02
3. Danielle Newman 23:40

30-34
1. Tina Bartholomew 19:27
2. Bethany Daku-Treas 21:02
3. Wendy Wood 22:39

 

Age Category Name Time

35-39
1. Tricia Good 21:09
2. Eileen Kirk 23:21
3. Sheila Packer 25:11

 

40-44
1. Bonnie Dodge 21:51
2. Barbara Challman 22:05
3. Kathy Shockloss 22:48

 

45-49
1. Ann Sick 20:41
2. Judy Reed 23:44
3. Laurie Knight 24:30

 

50-54
1. Stephanie Bedtson 23:29
2. Peggy Meckley 27:47
3. Melissa Martens 28:44

 

60 and over
1. Dianne Fantaskey 27:35
2. Freddi Carlip 34:42

Fun Run Winners

8 and under MALE

Name Hometown

1. Jayssen Gonzalez Kingston
2. Jaron Lee Mifflinburg

 

 

8 and under FEMALE

Name Hometown

1. Tori Hackenberg Mifflinburg
2. Kali Shuck Mifflinburg

 

9 and 10 MALE

Name Hometown

1. Brian Friery Lewisburg
2. Bradley Sauers New Berlin

 

 

9 and 10 FEMALE

Name Hometown

1. Gillian Allen Mifflinburg
2. Rachel Lipski I Lewisburg