By LINDA KELLETT
C-S-E News Staff
CANAJOHARIE — Run for the rock: That was the catch phrase of the Canajoharie Youth Center’s inaugural Boiling Pot race last Friday.
The 5-kilometer run/walk and kids’ fun run drew 40 to 50 children and more than 130 adults, who vied for signature rock trophies hand-crafted by Tim Shepard.
Shepard, who helped organize the event, selected stones from the Canajoharie Creek when making his unusual keepsakes. As noted on the race website, www.boilingpot5k.com, “Canajoharie” was derived from the Iroquois term that described the Boiling Pot’s erosive action. The word means “the pot that washes itself.”
Kathy Dopp, president of the youth center’s board of directors, said the race was the brainchild of former center Director Vicki Everleth and served two functions. On the one hand, the run and related 50/50 and basket raffles served as a fundraiser for the organization, which provides programs and activities for area youths.
Shepard said over $3,000 was raised for the center; and Dopp said the money would help fund the center’s after-school program, youth programming, and sports programs like Biddy Basketball, softball and Babe Ruth baseball.
The second goal of the run was to “get the community back in the center,” said Dopp. “We do a lot of children’s programs, but we want to get adults involved. This was one way to do that,” she said. “We’re an adult community center too.”
She said the board, in conjunction with new center Director Dontay Fowler, is working on making the building more accessible to adults during the day. “We’re developing it for when the kids are in school,” Dopp said, noting Dontay — who has worked at the center for over eight years — is “very arts-and-crafty. He’s looking at other things to utilize the building.”
While there are no firm plans at this time, Dopp suggested an adult pottery class might be among the offerings explored, for example. “We want people in the community to come to us, to say, ‘We have a skill. How can we help you?’”
In an early-week e-mail, Shepard echoed the words of Mayor Francis Avery, who welcomed participants to the first-time event saying, “I’m happy to see such a good turn out and hope they can do this again next year.
Shepard took it up a notch, noting organizers were “delighted with the turnout and the enthusiasm of the participants and spectators. We wanted to create a family friendly event and overall are very pleased with the outcome.”
As a first-time event, he noted there were a few kinks to work out in the future (such as the delay in announcing results). However, “we learn and build from this year’s experience to improve future runs. We want to make this an annual event, growing bigger and better every year. We value your feedback so please let us know how we did.”
Among the first-year trophy winners were the following: The overall male and female winners with times of 18:47 and 22:28 respectively were Bryan Shults and Carrie French.
Top male and female winners in the 19-and-under category were Canajoharie residents Alex Hayes and Jordyn Logan, first, with times of 21:16 and 24:23 respectively; Ariannah Logan, of Canajoharie, and Jared Coletta, of Ballston Lake, second, with times of 24:24 and 29:37; and Christina Towse and Michael Shariff, both of Canajoharie, with times of 24:36 and 31:14.
In the 20-to-29 age bracket, Inaki Gasco, of Spain, and Leah Schaffer, of Canajoharie, came in first with times of 19:31 and 22:41 respectively; second went to Ambrose Schaffer, of Canajoharie, and Amanda Rose, of Fultonville, with times of 20:10 and 24:40; and third went to Kevin Stuttle, of Canajoharie, and Ashley Clayburn, of Fort Plain, with times of 20:59 and 26:29 respectively.
Runners in the 30-to-39 division included first-place finishers Bryan Shults, of Schenectady, 18:47, and Carrie French, 22:28; second-place finishers Michael O’Neil, of Fultonville, 20:48, and Christi Sala, of Canajoharie, 23:23; and third-place finishers David Hayes, of Canajoharie, 20:51, and Caetlin Ebersole, 23:44.
In the 40-to-49 bracket, Jeff Bishop, with 19:37, and Beth Gregory, with 27:14, came in first; Brian Kearns, with 22:54, and Kristen Cameron, with 28:13, came in second; and Hein Kraak, of Canajoharie, with 26:24, and Laurie Weingart, of St. Johnsville, with 29:11, came in third.
Racers aged 50 to 59 who came in the top spots included Danielo Cherniak, 22:44, and Les Chase, of Canajoharie 24:56, first; Susan Smith, of Canajoharie, 26:43, and Gary May, also of Canajoharie, 46:50, second; and Mary Cool, 29:59, of Canajoharie, third.
There were no female competitors in the 60 to 69 age group; however Tribes Hill resident Patrick Whilly, with a time of 23:45, came in first for the males followed by Gary Drumm, of Canajoharie, 41:23, and Robert Going, of Amsterdam, 46:35, who secured second and third place honors respectively.
More images in the Seen section.