By Ashley Lodato
The Feet Versus Fire event took place in a beautiful two-hour window between early morning sprinkles and an afternoon downpour, with 62 humans and an assortment of canines participating in the 5-kilometer and 10K run/walk/bike. After pronouncing themselves “valley strong,” the participants headed out along the Community Trail.
Not surprisingly, Liberty Bell High School assistant cross-country coach Erik Brooks led the charge home in the 5K, trailed by just a few seconds by 15-year-old Eli Nielsen, one of the runners on the Liberty Bell cross-country team. Eli had helped take his team to a fourth-place victory at the state championships the day before, so he won the award for “Fastest Runner Who Ran State Yesterday.”
Other awards were given to Geza Sukovaty and Mike Moore, who crossed the 10K finish line together for first place in the men’s division, and Leslie Hall, who was the first female 10K finisher. Brooke and Mariah Lucy took first place in the mother-daughter category, while Meghan Schmidt won the golden broomstick award for savoring the gorgeous scenery and maximizing some tranquil moments while her toddler was with a babysitter.
The best (and only) costume of the day was worn gracefully and gloriously by Ann Diamond, who simply sparkled in a white tutu, representing the snow many are hoping will come soon.
Mazama Store treats greeted participants at the finish line and were a welcome sight to the hungry runners. Equally popular were the items available as awards and for raffle — SmartWool socks, Swix gear, and items and services from Set Coaching and Black Diamond.
Said runner and parent Harold Sheley about the event, which raised funds for fire relief efforts, “It’s great to live in a place where a few can make an impact; it’s even better that our kids get to see what community involvement looks like.”
The Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band returned yesterday in triumph, fresh from the Western Music Association’s annual awards event, where they were awarded the coveted Marilyn Tuttle Best of the Best Harmony Award. The details of this honor are covered elsewhere in the paper, but what isn’t mentioned is that Texan Kristyn Harris, who the cowgirls took under their wing several years ago, won the Female Performer of the Year award. The cowgirls seem more delighted with Kristyn’s award than they are with their own! Indeed, says cowgirl Jennifer Epps, “We are overly proud of Kristyn — the level of competition was so high.” The cowgirls’ next local gig will be on Jan. 10 at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp.