AVOCA — Brilliant sunny skies with temperatures in the upper 30s and windy conditions didn’t stop walkers and runners from participating in the Third Annual Easter Egg 5K Walk/Run & Egg Hunt sponsored by the Langcliffe Presbyterian Church March 24.
About 75 runners and walkers took part in the event whose proceeds benefit the Avoca Hose Co. and Ruth’s Place women’s shelter.
Tux, mascot of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and the Easter Bunny were on hand.
Pastor Alex Becker and his wife Corinna checked in runners at the starting line across street from the church at the Avoca Municipal Building on Main Street.
According to runners, the race was hillier than normal, including the start on Vine Street, which is a steep uphill challenge.
Aaron Knecht, 32 of Mountain Top was the top male and overall finisher with a time of 22:28 while Moosic’s Kris Danilovitz, 44, was the top female with a time of 23:40.
“We (as a church) had brainstorming sessions trying to decide how to best serve our community and this was a good idea we came up with and thought it was possible,” Pastor Becker said. “Because of our sponsors, we are able to give 100 percent to the causes.” In 2017, the event raised $2,000.
Sarah Donahue, of Pittston, was on hand to race and help support the community. “I like to support local causes and it’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m a bit worried about the course; it looks like there’s a lot of up hills,” she said.
The format for the 5K is a bit different than a normal race. Along the course, participants come across baskets of plastic hollow eggs filled with a piece of paper with a time deduction that allows them to reduce their overall time.
“When you are running, you grab an egg from the basket and at the end you can see how much time you can deduct from your time,” Donahue added. “This is my only chance at winning a race.”
Knecht was impressed with the course and the organization.
“It’s a nice course and well organized with a lot of support out on the course with staff helping with turns and directions,” he said. Regarding the challenge of the run, Knecht said, “It’s a lot of uphill; probably the first mile or mile and a half is uphill.” He added he was happy to support the two causes the church chose this year.
Kris Danilovitz took the top spot for female running in the event for the first time. Last year she did not run but her son Daniel did.
“I thought it was different because we got eggs that would subtract from our time and it is cool that it’s seasonal so it was fun,” said 11-year-old Daniel.
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