BY NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER
CARLISLE, PA--Ahh, to be a teenager again! Seventeen-year-old Jared McGahen of Mechanicsburg and 16-year-old Lara Crofford of Newville were the overall winners at the YMCA Resolution 5K held on January 1.
McGahen, a junior at Cedar Cliff HS, took the lead by the first ½ mile. I never really felt pressed and just tried to run even splits, stated the track and cross-country runner. John Hartpence, 35, closed to within ten seconds of McGahen but had to settle for second place, finishing with a time of 17:18, while 14-year-old Michael Garraway (17:23) was third.
Crofford won by a huge margin as she was never pressed and stopped the clock at 17:49, finishing a remarkable 4th overall. I liked the course as it was mostly flat and I was able to run hard throughout, explained the Big Spring HS track and cross-country star. Finishing a distant second was 16-year-old Maria Lamparter (19:15) while 27-year-old Kara Justin (19:27) took third.
The top Masters finishers were Kevin McKee (17:56), who finished 5th overall, and Elizabeth Thompson who ran a swift 22:04.
This first-time event was put on flawlessly by the staff of the Carlisle Family YMCA. Race Director Tracey Patience was pleased with the turnout and looks forward to having even more participants in coming years. Race results were posted in a timely manner and after the top two in each age group received their awards we were out of there less than 1½ hours after the start of the race. My kind of efficiency!
A side note on the photo with this race: After I crossed the finish line I retrieved my trusty camera to take a few pics for RG. Since I did not know anyone by sight, I took a few pics and jotted down the runners bib numbers. I then tried to locate them in the finish area. I found bib number 171 who turned out to be 13-year-old Josh Lebo from New Cumberland. While I was asking him his pertinent information, the woman next to him asked me, Arent you Neal Riemenschneider? We read your stuff a lot and really like what you write. Turns out this was Joshs mom (whose name I forgot to ask, stunned that I was!) and I was amazed that she knew who I was (must have been those wedding photos Freddi ran a few issues ago). Anyway, being a firm believer in rewarding those who are nice to you, it was a no brainer when I opted to run Joshs pic. Call me shallow but a few kind words go a long way with me!