Costumes and Crisp Fall Weather Highlight the 10th Annual Spooky Schuylkill 5K Race
Oct. 30 – LANDINGVILLE – The 10th Spooky Schuylkill 5K Run on Saturday brought together exercise, fresh fall air and costumed runners, some with their furry friends in costume as well.
Sponsored by Schuylkill County VISION, the event is the longest running and largest fundraiser for the organization.
Marybeth Matz, VISION board secretary, said more than 200 attendees pre-registered this year.
“It’s probably the biggest turnout we’ve had since we started 10 years ago,” she said.
Among those running were groups of students from the Mahanoy area, Blue Mountain and the Schuylkill Haven area.
Matz said the race follows Bartram Trail, which is part of the Schuylkill River Trail system. Saturday’s cool temperatures made for a pleasant day for runners, she said.
“We ordered it and it showed up,” Matz said.
Mandy Fitzpatrick, executive director of VISION, said Spooky Schuylkill is an important part of the organization’s fundraising and also follows its mission.
“Our mission is education and public health,” Fitzpatrick said. “This has it all.”
Fitzpatrick said VISION has set a goal of raising $10,000 throughout the race. It helps fund the various programs within the organization.
Board member Regina Gargano said the idea for the 5K race began during a conversation at a regular board meeting.
“We knew the 5K was popping up and was well attended, and we decided to give it a try,” she said. “It’s been going on ever since.”
William Shaner, 15, of New Ringgold, a member of the Blue Mountain High School football team, ran the race wearing a costume depicting Stitch from the sci-fi animated film and television series “Lilo & Stitch” by Walt Disney.
Shaner said he decided to take part in the race at the request of his father, William Shaner.
Sweating at the finish line after running for 22 minutes and 2 seconds, youngster Shaner said he had a blast.
“It was fun,” he said.
His uncle, VISION board member Michael Shaner, said he was happy his nephew was one of the record numbers of attendees.
“We had a very good turnout. It’s an important event for organizations,” he said.
Kate Costenbader from Orwigsburg ran the race wearing a Day of the Dead costume.
A special education supervisor for Governor Mifflin’s school district in nearby Berks County, Costenbader said she’s been an avid runner since her late 20s. Now 40, she continues to enjoy exercise, being outdoors and getting to know other runners.
Costenbader said she set herself the goal of running half a marathon before she turned 40, and managed to achieve that goal by completing the 13-year Chasing the Unicorn race. .1 miles in Bucks County.
After that run, Spooky Schuylkill was not only pretty easy but also quite enjoyable, she said.
In addition to the fact that running is a form of stress release and relaxation, the fact that running benefits Schuylkill County VISION is a plus.
“I think it’s important to give back to our communities and this is one way to do that,” Costenbader said.
Bespoke metal plaques were given to winners in several age categories. Gargano said the plates were designed, fabricated and donated by Hydro Extrusions North America, Cressona.
Prizes were also awarded for the best costumes and pets with the best costumes.
“It’s just a fantastic day,” Matz said.