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Rush Township police host second annual 5K

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    Men, women, children and pets participate in the Rush Township Police 5K on Saturday. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published October 21. 2019 03:44PM

Youngsters were the first finishers in the second annual Rush Township Police 5K (run and walk) held Saturday in Hometown.

About 60 people (and two dogs) participated in the event held by the Rush Township Police Department.

Chief of Police Ken Zipovsky said proceeds in the 3.1-mile event are given to the township Park and Recreation Commission.

The route was marked with red arrows. Fire police assisted the runners when they crossed Route 54.

Zipovsky said one of the things the commission is looking to purchase is disc golf, where Frisbee-type discs are used in place of golf balls.

“It’s a big thing in other places,” he said. “Each hole costs about $250.”

Zipovsky said he was pleased with the turnout. “It’s great because getting people together, that’s healthy and positive for the community.”

The contribution to the commission is made possible through sponsors and participants, he said.

The first finisher in the event was Alec Humes, 15, of Lake Hauto. The Tamaqua Area High School sophomore finished the course in 20:50.

In second was Tony Marchetti, 12, a seventh grade student from Tamaqua. His time was 21:38.

The first girl to finish was Leah Black, 11, of Lake Hauto. She is a sixth-grade student, who finished in 27:09.

The oldest person to compete was Joan Houser, 80, of Hometown. She finished in the middle of the pack.

Houser said she signs up as a runner so that she can run part of the way and walk when she gets tired.

“I ran 5 and 10K’s since I was 53 years old,” she said.

She recalled her first-ever race was in San Francisco, where some of the participants ran in the nude. Most were guys, she said, adding that she wore clothing in that event.

“That still shocked the crap out of me,” she said.

Once she and her sister, Catherine Shade of Reading, ran an 8-mile race in the Virgin Islands.

She said Catherine, who is 90, gave up races about five years ago.

“People who get a certain age give up,” she said. “If they would just get out and keep active. I just say, ‘Don’t give up because you don’t know what you missed.’ ”

Houser said her husband, Charles, died in May. They had celebrated their 61 wedding anniversary in April.

Garrett McMullen of Hometown ran with his 7-year-old son, Koda. The remained together on most of the course. As they neared the finish line, they opted to compete to see who would get there first. Koda won by a step.

Chief Zipovsky not only was the coordinator of the run, he also was a participant.

Steve Roetz of Hometown ran with his dog, Kelce, a Labradoodle named after a Philadelphia Eagles football player.

Roetz said he doesn’t compete in marathon runs, but once ran an “ultramarathon.” He said the ultramarathon was the Georgia Death Race, a 74-mile event, that he competed in over a year ago.

His wife, Jace, ran in the Hometown race last year and this year.

One other dog in the race was a Boston terrier named Lemmy, who walked with Bob Keich of Tamaqua and Shawna Wenrich of Deer Lake.

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