A record 194 runners & walkers gathered at Irasburg Common on Saturday morning, August 13, to participate in the 5th annual Kingdom Run. Three course records were broken as athletes from France, Canada, Vermont, and ten other states displayed their athletic talents in this competetive, but friendly sports event. Laurel Cole from Jericho, VT smashed the Womenâ€™s 5K-Run with a time of 20:10. Geordie Heller of Putney, VT sailed by the finish line with a new course record in the Menâ€™s 5K-Walk with a time of 35:35. Craig Lefevre of Derby shaved 29 seconds off his previous course record to establish a new Menâ€™s 10K-Walk mark of 1:12:19. All three athletes were awarded Kingdom Run Champion Medals, along with Irene Shover from Bradford, VT who accepted her medal for a record set in 2007 in the Womenâ€™s 10K-Walk that has yet to be be broken, 1:17:04.
Spencer Holm of Hosmer Point Camp in Craftsbury was the overall 5K-Run champion with a time of 18:19, while Mike Early of Huntington, VT led the 10K-Run athletes with a time of 38.44. Former North Country High School cross country runner and Burke Academy Alumni, Ida Sargent, topped the 20K- runners with a time of 1:24:16.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Kingdom Run, a new tradition was established honoring runners and walkers who have participated for 5 years at this event. Seven athletes were awarded embroidered Kingdom Run caps: Sebastian Brown (Coventry), Karen Hennig (Irasburg) Dave Reisman (Burlington) Mike Shover(Bradford) Dick Thompson (Swanton) Wayne Wheeler (Newport) and Lenny Wilson (Richford). Youngest participants in the race, running the 5K, were Kajsa Kenney, 8 years old from Kerhonkson, NY and Egan Mansfield-Mitchell, 8 years old from Hosmer Point Camp in Craftsbury, VT. â€śYoungest at Heartâ€ť participant, Don Lacharite of Winooski, VT ran the 5K at age 79.
Kingdom Run is held the second Saturday of August, next yearâ€™s date being August 11, 2012. All proceeds from this event are used to spay or neuter dogs and cats in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.