KINGSTON TWP. — For just the second time in its 22-year history, the Wyoming Valley Striders Spring (5.3-mile) Trail Run on Sunday at Frances Slocum State Park was run as an age group handicap race.
Runners — depending on their gender and age — we’re given head starts.
Some runners were given as much as an 11-minute head start, while others were given as little as a 56-second head start.
Tony Korch ran to his fourth victory in the Spring Run, crossing the finish line in 51 minutes and 52 seconds. Korch, 53, of Nanticoke, has also won the fall version of the race twice.
Sam Williams, 18, of Warren Center, finished second in 54:36.
“I didn’t catch Joe Dutko (the front runner for the first 3-1/2 miles) until we were running over the back side trail,” Korch said. “I knew that (Williams) was not far behind me. I knew he was a good runner. So I didn’t let up. I didn’t want to give up the win.”
Korch finished second in the Bear Mountain Trail Marathon on May 4. And he attributed running in the Striders trail runs over the last 10 years as the reason he did so well in the trail marathon.
“I got my start running trails right here at the state park,” Korch said.
Amy Rome, 46, of Dallas, won the female division of the race, finishing third overall in 56:16. Josey Rupert, 20, of Shickshinny, finished second among the females with a fifth-place finish in 57:09.
“That’s a long run for me nowadays,” said Rome, who dominated the female divisions of local races for a number of years. “But it was a nice day — a good day to get in a run.”
Rome was only passed, during the race, by Korch and Williams.
“(Rupert) would have beat me, if it weren’t for receiving the handicap,” Rome said. “It’s nice getting a head start against these young speedsters.”
Williams ran track and cross country for Northeast Bradford High School. He was part of the single A state championship cross country team.
Rupert ran track and cross country for Northwest High School. She now runs cross country for Eastern University. Eastern doesn’t have a track team, so Rupert runs on the school’s club track team. In fact, Rupert is the president of the club team.
Wyoming Valley Striders
22nd annual Spring (5.3-mile) Trail Run
1. Tony Korch, 53, Nanticoke, 51:52
2. Sam Williams, 18, Warren Center, 54:36
3. Amy Rome, 46, Dallas, 56:16tlt
4. Don Morrison, 63, W. Brandywine, 57:08
5. Josey Rupert, 20, Shickshinny, 57:09
6. Joe Drumsta, 44, Scranton, 57:11
7. Joe Dutko, 66, Mountain Top, 57:15
8. Anthony Pszeniczny, 51, Mountain Top, 57:16
9. Aaron Stredny, 32, Forty Fort, 59:19
10. Reginald Thomas, 66, Bear Creek, 60;26
11. Dan Rosa, 43, Pittston, 61:03
12. Bob Guzenski, 46, Dallas, 61:10
13. Bob Warnagiris, 53, Hunlock Creek, 61:11
14. Brian Thomas, 43, Tunkhannock, 62:00
15. Mike Russ, 29, Clarks Summit, 62:10
Note: All times include added times from handicaps. The handicaps were determined by the World Masters Association, an organization that collects statistics on how much runners slow down with age.
Field: 52 registered. 48 finishers (36 men, 12 women). Four no shows. Starter and timing: Vince P. Wojnar. Registration and results: Linda Wojnar. Race directors: Vince A. Wojnar and Don Grose.
Saturday: Pennsylvania Summer Biathlon ( run and shoot) at the Whitetail Preserve, 118 Blvd. Road, Bloomsburg at 9:15 a.m. There is a safety clinic — mandatory for all first-time shooters — at 8 a.m. Info: Frank Gaval, 788-4219.
Sunday: Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley’s River Street 3 Mile Run/Walk at the JCC, S. River St., Wilkes-Barre at 10:30 a.m. Info: Bill Buzza, 824-4646.
Monday, May 27: Fort Fort Lions’ Old Fort 5 Miler at the borough park, Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort at 9 a.m. Info: Bernie Popson, 675-4400.
Saturday, June 1: 36th annual West Pittston Anthracite 4 Mile Run and 2 Mile Fun Walk at the borough building, Exeter Ave., West Pittston at 9 a.m. Info: borough office, 655-7782.
Saturday, June 15: Susquehanna River Runners running club’s inaugural 2 Mile Run at Murphys Pub, Slocum and Church streets, Swoyersville at 9 a.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 592-2820.
Sunday, June 16: Wilkes-Barre Duathlon (run, bike, run) at Wilkes-Barre Public Square at 7a.m. Info: Nicky Pachucki, 823-2191, ext. 141.