Arkport holds annual Summerfest 5K

ARKPORT — The sun was shining and the streets of Arkport were packed early Saturday morning as hundreds of runners and walkers raced through the village in the 18th Annual Arkport Summerfest 5K.

The runners and walkers begin just in front of the fire department promptly at 9 a.m., and then cross a very unique course that blends both the views of lovely houses and flowing countryside that only a small community like Arkport could offer. The race concludes on the other side of the fire department, on the JV soccer field, where organizer Stan Ells and his army of volunteers awaits to offer water and post-race snacks.

The finish line, like the race itself, is a rather unique scene. With the cover of shade and the presence of vendors set up for the rest of the day, both participants and spectators alike can all converse together and enjoy all the festivities of the day.

“We try to make the food is close, and we make sure that we are handing out water right at the finish line so that nobody is wandering around trying to find it. We still have trophies, which a lot of places don’t do anymore. We spend the money to go and do that, and then we’ve got the medals for the younger kids as well. I think people really enjoy all of that and appreciate it,” said Summerfest 5K organizer Stan Ells.

Jeremiah Ford was the overall winner, cruising around Arkport in an incredible time of 17:21. Jules Jones defended her crown as the top overall female finisher, coming in first place for the third consecutive year. This year, Jones had her best overall finish, taking third place with an incredible time of 19:42.

Other winners include: Dylan Cannon and Danica Dresser (13 and under), Dominick Staub and Gulianna Smith (14-19), Josh Spoth and Bridget McMahon (20-29), Justin Duchnick and Alli Feenaughty (30-39), Mark Burley and Rebecca Guinnip (40-49), Kevin Sheehan and Pam Kelleher (50-59), Bill Zeltwanger and Debbie Buchanan (60-69), Tom Santee (70-plus).

The event, which consistently exceeds expectations, was once again a success in 2019. While there are always some hiccups to the day, the volunteers showed up in waves to help the participants cruise around the track in record setting time.

“I get a lot of help, especially from the fireman. They are a really big help out on the course helping direct the runners. Then there is always a big sea of volunteers that always helps. It’s always great to see the way things come together at the last minute,” added Ells.