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Tortoise and Hare participants turned out despite cold

April 13, 2018 – Even though early morning temperatures hovered in the 20s, hundreds of participants gathered in the cold, morning sun on Saturday to participate in the Good Samaritan Center’s annual Tortoise and the Hare 5K. Over 350 people registered for the event, and despite frigid temperatures, most of them showed up. The race is to help address hunger in the local community.

“This is definitely the coldest one, I think,” said Good Samaritan Center Caseworker Jen Chappell, who was appropriately bundled into a bulky winter suit. “We have had some pretty wet, rainy ones, though.”

Kristen DeHart, Martha Buckman, and Jen Chappell all bundled up for the race.

“It’s definitely the coldest it’s ever been,” Good Samaritan Center Executive Director Martha Buckman said. “But it’s a clear, bright morning.” She added that the turnout was “terrific.”

This year’s race was dedicated to Norma Gorsett, who passed away on March 22, 2018. Gorsett was a pillar of the community and known for her devotion to the hungry and the homeless. In a poignant coincidence, her granddaughter Holly Spencer designed the shirts for the race.

Before the runners started, Buckman addressed the crowd and spoke in loving memory of the type of friend and supporter of the impoverished Norma Gorsett had been during her life.

“I’ve never know a person who was more compassionate to the poor, and who dedicated her life to serving the poor,” Buckman said, “so it’s only fitting that the walk be in memory of her this year.”

Scott Wilmes of Liberty took first place in the male division. He completed the race with a gun time of 19:18.55, with Ben Bowers of Gladstone close behind with a gun time of 20:02.44. However, it was 12-year-old Mason Wartner from Excelsior Springs who took third overall, as well as first in his age division, and although his youth and speed may have surprised some participants, it didn’t surprise his grandfather.

Mason Wartner, Excelsior Springs, age 12, 6:34

“He does the running for soccer,” his grandpa said. “His dad and brother are back there somewhere, so it’s a family thing.

“He always beats his dad,” he finished. Wartner’s gun time was 20:22.64.

Stephanie Wattenbarger of Excelsior Springs took first in the women’s division with a gun time of 23:34.73, followed by Jourdon Paige, whose time was clocked at 24:38.61 and Teresa Jennings, at 25:59.62.

For a list of all results, click here.

In total, there were 163 runners registered for the 5K, and 199 participants registered for the 2-mile walk and the Kids’ Fun Run, for a total of over 360 participants. In total, 98 runners braved the cold, with around 175 walkers.

Overall male and female runners each won a $100 gift card to The Running Well Store, and first-place finishers in each age group, in both men’s and women’s divisions, won a $15 gift card to Rock & Run Brewery.

The total amount of money raised for charity has not yet been disclosed, but The Standard will update as that information comes in.


By Samantha Kilgore •

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