NANTICOKE — Tony Korch and Katie Charles ran to easy victories in the Race for a Cause 5K Run on Saturday at Luzerne County Community College.
Korch, 53, of Nanticoke, used the hills to his advantage en route to his win in 18 Minutes and 27 seconds. He outran second-place finisher, Nick Weron, 20, also of Nanticoke, by 1:04. Wade Joline, 18, of Berwick, finished third, eight seconds behind Weron.
“I didn’t push the first downhill,” said Korch. “I let everybody go. Then there is an uphill, about a half mile in length. That’s when I pushed and took the lead about a quarter of a mile into the race.”
Korch continued to push.
“I pushed the rest of the way,” Said Korch. “I wanted to put as much distance between myself and the rest of the field so I had a good lead in case things got close down the home stretch.”
As it turned out, Korch had nothing to worry about.
“I had (Korch) in my sights for a while,”said Weron, who ran cross country for Nanticoke Area High School and now runs the same sport for LCCC. “But at mile 2, he started pulling away. There was no catching him.”
There was no catching Charles — another runner who knows how to run hills — either.
The 26-year-old from Atlanta won the female division of the race in 22:49. She held off second-place finisher, Lizzie Dyer, 15, of Berwick, for a 14-second win. Emily Crawford, 20, of Bloomsburg, finished third, 16 seconds behind Dyer.
“Hills!, said Charles. “This is my first race in over a year. I ran Boston last year. But I’ve been out of action for a long time. I ran 5Ks in college in 19 (minutes). Today, I just ran as good as I could. I have to get back in shape.”
Charles was in town for her grandmother’s ( Marion Wilson) funeral and dedicated the win to her.
“It’s hilly — like Atlanta,” said Charles, who ran the steeplechase for Kennesaw State University. “We’re known for hills and humidity in Atlanta. In fact, I work for the Big Peach running store. And the store’s motto is, “Heat, hills and humidity — welcome to Atlanta.”
Charles had good things to say about her young opponent.
“(Dyer) is a good runner,” Charles said. “She passed me about a mile and a half into the race. I thought she had me there for a while. But I was able to catch and pass her around mile 2.”
Notes: Dyer runs cross country and track for Berwick High school. Her specialty is the 1miler.
Crawford ran track for Central Columbia.
Korch didn’t run in school. He’s been running for about 20 years.
Wade Joline just finished his final season running cross country for Columbia Montour Vocational Tech. His 15-year-old brother, Marcus, also runs cross country for the Rams.
Proceeds from the race go to local charities.
Charles — after landing at the airport in Philadelphia — was impressed with the City of Brotherly Love’s beautiful buildings. She said, “The scenery, on the way up to Wilkes- Barre, was beautiful. But, then we’re in the Poconos, right?”
Race for a Cause 5k Run results. Top 3 finishers
1. Tony Korch, 53, Nanticoke, 18:27
2. Nick Weron, 20, Nanticoke, 19:31
3. Wade Joline, 18, Berwick, 19:39
Male award winners: Overall: Korch. Age group winners: 19 & under: 1. Wade Joline, 19:39; 2. Marcus Joline, 20:19; 3. Austin Matschat, na. 20-29: 1. Nick Weron, 19:31; 2. Tyler Angeli, 20:01; 3. Mike Kennedy, 20:22. 30-39: 1. Phil Kiefer, 20:45; 2. Flash Barchik, 21:12; 3. Mike Stanik, 23:36. Masters division: 40-49: 1. Steve Housenick, 19:49; 2. Donnie Nelson, 21:04; 3. Don Shearer, 21:23. 50-59: 1. Jeff Baran, 23:38; 2. Mark Hulme, 27:15. 60-69: 1. Tom Walski, 25:55. 70 & over: 1. Willis Balliet, 41:53; 2. Harold Reynolds, 41:54.
Top 3 females
1. Katie Charles, 26, Atlanta, 22:49
2. Lizzie Dyer, 15, Berwick, 23:03
3. Emily Crawford, 20, Bloomsburg, 23:19
Female award winners: Overall: Charles. Age group winners: 19 & under: 1. Lizzie Dyer, 23:03; 2. Sam Dyer, 23:51; 3. Sophie Rittenhouse, 25:44. 20-29: 1. Emily Crawford, 23:19; 2. Sam Matschet, 24:46; 3. Tara Lynn, 26:58. 30-39: 1. Heather Proctor, 25:26; 2. Liz Sargent, 28:01; 3. Melissa Berry, 28:38. Masters division: 40-49: 1. Pam Curtis, 24:48; 2. Angie Hughes, 28:50; 3. Melissa James, 29:21. 50-59: 1. Jill Hildebrand, 24:37; 2. Carmella DiPippi, 26:34; 3. Patty Phillips, 27:29. 60-69: 1. Dee Walski, 38:01; 2. Kate Clemente, 47:06. Field: 99 finishers (run) and 10 walkers. Official starter and timing: Doug Alter. Results: Miranda Costa and Joan Beyer (race director and assistant respectively).
Sunday, May 5: Wyoming Valley Striders’ 39th annual Cherry Blossom 5 Mile Foot Race and 1 Mile Fun Walk “Tim Thomas Memorial” at Kirby Park at 10 a.m. Info: Vince Wojnar, 474-5363.
Sunday, May 12: Wyoming Valley Striders’ 22nd annual Spring Trail (5.3 mile) Run — an age group handicap race) at the pavilion, near the boat launch area, of Francis Slocum State Park, Kingston Twp., at 1 p.m. Info: Vince Wojnar, 474-5363.
Sunday, May 19: Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley’s River Street 3 Mile Run/ Walk at the JCC, S. River Street, Wilkes- Barre at 10:30 a.m. Info: Bill Buzza, 824-4646.