Levi Broyles of Delta and Katya Schwieterman of Paonia were the top placing male and female Sunday at the first Paonia Elementary School 5k race. The race began and ended at Paonia Town Park.
Held in conjunction with the 18th annual Mountain Harvest Festival, the fun run/walk was hosted by the Paonia Elementary School Parent Organization. The organization consists of a group of parents coming together for the good of all students, faculty, and the community.
In addition to the top male and female finishers, special awards were presented to the top placing male and female in six categories: grades K-2, 3-6, and 7-12; age 18-30, Masters, and Teachers.
This is the first year Paonia Elementary School benefited from the race. Last spring the parent organization was considering fundraising ideas for school ground improvements, said race co-organizer/mom Cari Johnson. Realizing that no one had organized a Mountain Harvest Festival 5k run/walk last year, "We thought, you know, a 5k is probably a really good way to make some money, and we can bring the 5k back to the Harvest Festival."
The school has already completed some projects, including installation of the tile project at the main entrance to the school and a "buddy bench" on the playground. They want to install raised beds for the garden and green house and other beautification projects to make the school feel more welcoming, said Johnson.
Last spring they made the decision to hold the race. "It was kind of a summer project," said parent and perennial 5k participant, Leah Morris. They spent the last three months organizing the event. Forty runners pre-registered and 83 completed the course.
The event is about fundraising, but it's also about getting the kids involved in healthy activities, said Johnson. Water, fresh fruit and Big B's juices were available at the finish line, and each participating student got to take home a book or other prize.
The parent organization also hired Scott Siettmann with the Google site ScottMeets to time the race and provide results. ScottMeets provides timing and management services for middle school and high school track and field and cross country meets, Delta swim meets and other events.
Custom-made plasma-cut metal awards were presented, and each person to cross the finish line received a custom medal, all handcrafted by Paonia artist Josh Milner with Milner CNC. Paonia Lions Club gave a cash donation and donated blue and yellow balloons for the arch over the finish line.
Volunteer parents and community members pitched in, bringing food, monitoring the course and set-up and take-down. "Lots of volunteers, thank goodness," said Johnson. To thank the supporting businesses, banners were hung at the finish line. "We had a lot of businesses who donated," said Johnson. Paonia Lions Club gave a cash donation and donated blue and yellow balloons for the arch over the finish line.
Forty participants pre-registered through the Mountain Harvest Festival website, and 83 completed the course. Johnson said that organizers plan to make the race an annual event.
PES 5k race results
1. Levi Broyles 18:55.08 Katya Schwieterman 21:18.7
2. Kevin O'Brien 19:53.86 Cristina Rankin 24:04.78
3. Jim Frazier 20:32.33 Brooke Harding 24:35.73
4. Lee Collins 23:38.63 Natasha Hester 26:02.08
5. Ben Johnson 23:40.16 Kelly Johnson 26:28.56
6. Mathew Kasper 23:53.34 Heidi Marlin 26:44.01
7. Eliezer Roque Cisneros 24:13.75 Amanda Collins 27:12.95
8. Chris Pack 24:15.22 Anna Smith 27:17.01
9. Ryan Marlin 24:45.25 Andie Heinritz 27:27.38
10. Daniel Hagman 24:58.9 Heidi Johnson 29:41.11
Award recipients by Division
Division Male Female
K-2 Jezai Hottinger Andie Sue Heinritz
3-6 Ben Johnson Brooke Harding
7-12 Matt Kasper Katya Schwieterman
18-30 Eliezer Roque Cisneros Amanda Collins
Masters Kevin O'Brien Rebecca Drbohlav
Teacher Jim Frazier Kelly Johnson