Hundreds of runners, walkers, strollers show up for Spit Run
Sunshine hadn't been predicted for Saturday, but it, along with more than 300 participants, were on hand for the 10K to the Bay Spit Run.
For the second year in a row, Jake Moe of Anchorage was the first to complete the course that began at the Homer High School parking lot and ended at the end of the Homer Spit. In 2012, Moe finished in a time of 33:23, but on Saturday he dashed across the finish in 32:40.
The first women to cross the finish line were the trio of Barae Hirsch, Molly Mitchell and Aurora Waclawski. Raising their joined hands into the air, the three, who will be sophomores at Homer High School in the fall, were greeted by loud cheers as they completed the course with a time of 43:30.
"We've been running all year and are friends and just really wanted to complete the race together," said Hirsch. "Running is an individual sport, but it's not always fun if you do it by yourself. It's a lot more motivating and fun if you do it with a team."
Mitchell said the three prepared for the race by sticking to a schedule.
"We run almost every day, anywhere from four to 12 miles," she said.
Waclawski joined Hirsch and Mitchell at the last minute.
"They were planning on running together and I just happened to be going, so they said, 'You can come, too.' It worked out pretty well," she said.
The friends cooled off after the run with a dip in Kachemak Bay.
"I like to swim after I run so it was just kind of an instinct to go to the nearest water source," said Mitchell.
For the family and friends of the late John Chapple Jr., Saturday's event was a day to remember the local running legend. Among the many marathons Chapple ran was the 1947 Boston Marathon. At the age of 83, he was still logging a 13.5-minute mile. His last race was Homer's 2012 5K Migration Run, which he finished arm-in-arm with his son, John Chapple III.
Chapple died the morning of June 23, 2012, at the age of 90. It was, ironically, the day of the 2012 Spit Run.
"I had to run it," said John Chapple III, who completed the 2012 race wearing two bibs, one for himself and one for his father.
Photos of Chapple and the 2013 Spit Run No. 1 racing bib, which was dedicated to him, were on display at the registration area Saturday morning prior to the race. Three generations of the family participated in the run.
Sharing race director responsibilities this year were Andrea Petersen and Mary Kate Green.
"It went great," said Petersen. "Last year we had about 180-190 participants. This year we certainly increased participation with 312. … (Green) and I have put out there to have 500 participants next year."
Petersen was kept busy Saturday morning entering last-minute registrations into the computer, while Green and Bill Steyer, coach for the Homer High School cross country and track and field teams, set up the finish line near Land's End Resort.
"It was absolutely amazing," said Green. "There were so many people. Homer was represented very well. … I've heard that it was one of the best races here in Homer. It was awesome."
Steyer also was pleased with race.
"Of all the years I've been involved with the race, this is the best turnout," he said. "It was just a wonderful race this year."
One new feature this year was prizes for the first, second and third stroller-pushing participants to cross the finish line.
"We kept that kind of quiet to see how it would go, but the mommies and daddies I talked to just thought it was wonderful," said Petersen, adding that racing with a stroller for 6.2 miles is "a very hard thing to do."
New Kachemak Bay Running Club shirts, designed by Kathy Sarns of Free Spirit Wear, were available for sale at the run and can be ordered through the club.
"We're super excited that she created this for the running club," said Petersen. "We're so blessed to have such a talented person as Kathy in this community."
A large group of volunteers helped make Saturday's race a success. Water stations were organized by PHAT, Promoting Health Among Teens; Girl Scouts and the colorfully costumed Homer Hockey Divas. Parents of Homer High School's football, track and field and cross-country teams also helped out.
"All the volunteers were absolutely phenomenal," said Green.
Masseuse therapist Megan Davis offered massages at the race's end, and live music was provided at the after-party on Land's End Resort's deck by Kevin Duff.
"I'd like to thank the Homer community for their support," said Green, who has plans to make the Spit Run "one of the best Alaskan races ever."
To help that happen, Peterson is already offering to help direct next year's event.
"I will do it again if the sponsors and the running club allow me to do it, and I know Mary Kate's on board to do it again, as well. If she's not, she better be now," said Petersen, laughing.
The next scheduled run of the Homer Running Club is the July 4 Firecracker, a 6 p.m. one-mile run that begins by circling the Homer High School track and then leads the parade along Pioneer Avenue. Participants are asked to wear red, white and blue. Entry fee is $5 for ages 14 and older, free for 13 and younger.
For more information on the Kachemak Bay Running Club, visit Facebook.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at
|Times||Last Name First Name||Age||Gender|
|Honorary||Chapple Jr John||M|
|55:46:00||Chambers Oliva||11 months||F|
|1:41:48:00||Brann Autumn||8 months||F|
|1:02:22:00||Roedle-Kupilik Anna Marie||28||F|
|1:26:22:00||Kastner Chaffee Rachel||28||F|
|46:47:00||Van Hemert Ashley||31||F|
|1:45:27:00||Pratt Carrie Ann||38||F|
|1:11:03:00||Chapple Waltenbaugh Jennifer||41||F|
|1:45:43:00||Lincoln Kelly Jean||42||F|
|54:03:00||Renkert Mary Ann||57||F|
|58:07:00||Sarns Irwin Kathy||53||F|
|1:28:26:00||Chapple Pitzman Owen||9||M|
|57:53:00||Chapple III John||65||M|