Plenty of Green at St. Patrick’s Day 5K

BY NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER

Hagerstown, MD--With many of the participants decked out in various outfits of green it was a colorful bunch that toed the starting line at the St. Patrick's Day 5K held on March 12. The first-time event was held within the friendly confines of Martin Snook Park and was closed to vehicle traffic during the race.

Dave Hardy led a group of five runners through a 5:40 first mile and then decided it was time to open up a lead. "I started out running with my teammates but I felt pretty good so I decided to push the pace. I was surprised when no one went with me," explained the 17-year-old junior who runs track and cross country for Williamsport High School. Finishing second was 18-year-old Brandon Thrush (17:33) while 30-year-old Brad Sponaugle (17:41) took third. Top Masters was 50-year-old Jeff Delauter (17:54) who finished 6th overall.

For the women, Hagerstown resident and American University sophomore Kellie Quinn jumped out at the gun and took the lead and was never pressed as she soled to the win in 20:32. "It was great to have people out on the course cheering on the runners and it was a fun course to run, "said the Business Marketing major. Running her first mile in 6:34, Quinn just kept rolling along as her winning time saw her finish almost two minutes ahead of first Masters and second female overall Maureen Hall (22:17) (Maureen’s husband Nut timed the race and is seen at numerous events manning the finish line).

A total of 181 runners and walkers finished the event held under sunny skies with windy conditions. The event was put on by the Washington County Parks and Recreation and all finishers were awarded a necklace of green beads at the end of the chute. Ruth quickly snagged these when I showed them to her as she stated they would go with the St. Patrick's Day ensemble she will be wearing to school. I don't know who loves Ruth's holiday outfits more, her first graders or herself. Ruth's motto is "noting is too gaudy" as she is often bedecked in wigs, colorful clothes, gloves, shoes, and beads and enough lights to power Times Square. It's amazing any learning gets done in her class on holidays...