Scamperers run 5K race to support track and field teams


Below-freezing temperatures and a breeze couldn’t keep 441 runners and walkers from crossing the finish line for the Irish Scamper 5K race on Saturday. Though that number was down from the 489 finishers a year ago, organizer Ben Youngs said the event went well.
“It went great,” said Youngs, who coaches the track and field teams that benefit from the annual fundraiser. “We were down a bit with the cold weather, which was not a shock.”
The reason for that is the types of runners the race attracts.
“We get a lot of casual runners,” Youngs said. “Serious runners will come in any condition. Casual runners don’t come to every race and there are a lot of casual runners.”
Nate Hoffman, 31, of South Haven, led the serious runners across the finish line in 15:51.63, followed by 20-year-old Hunter Kopff, of Monticello, who finished in 16:08.64.
“The top two men were tied after the first lap, so that was kind of fun,” Youngs said.
The top two women were also within 20 seconds of each other. Mandy Stoesz, 29, of Buffalo, finished in 20:29.56, followed by 54-year-old Kathleen Miller, of Plymouth, in 20:43.61.
Those times are also more accurate than in early years, as the event featured chip timing for the second year in a row.
“It’s definitely worth the money we spend because it makes it that much better and accurate,” Youngs said.
He is thankful for everyone who made the event possible.
“We really want to thank everyone for their support,” he said.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.