Mahoning Shadow Trailers shuffle their way through Punxsy

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Last Saturday, over 100 runners took to the road — or rather, the trail — in Punxsutawney for the Mahoning Shadow Shuffle, an annual event put on by the Mahoning Shadow Trail Board that consists of a half-marathon, a 10-kilometer race, a 5-kilometer race and a 1-mile youth run.

The race started at the ball fields and was run out toward the Fordham trailhead, consisting solely of a run along the Mahoning Shadow Trail.

"We had a great turnout today," said Susan Wolfe, secretary of the Mahoning Shadow Board. "It was 23 degrees when I left my house, but that didn't quell the crowd's enthusiasm."

More than 100 runners started the race, but exactly 100 were handed official times, and the event was held to raise awareness of and funds for the Mahoning Shadow Trail.

The trail is run by the board — a non-profit organization — and the majority of the race participants were local citizens, Wolfe said. She added that the proceeds from the entry fees go toward paying the expenses of the race and trail maintenance.

Sponsors for the event, who Wolfe said the board would like to thank, included Indiana First Bank, Standard Pennant, RoadID, Trailhead Gallery, County Market and Walmart.

The timing was provided by Miles of Smiles Timing Service, and Lauri Miller created the T-shirt design for participants' shirts.

Wolfe also noted that a number of volunteers assisted with the event, including a group of PAHS Key Club members.

The half marathon — a 13.1-mile race — was the longest event, and a total of 43 participants crossed the finish line.

Doug Craft blazed the trail with a 6:29-minutes-per-mile pace to earn first overall with a time of 1:24:53.

Jeff Steele came in second overall in the men's category with a time of 1:32:21, and David McConnell took third, finishing just over a minute behind Steele in 1:33:32.

In the women's category for the half marathon, Julie Pape set the pace with a time of 1:45:46, setting an 8:04 mile pace.

Wendy Young took second for the women in the half marathon with a time of 1:49:40, and Ragina Whitling followed closely in 1:52:09 for third place.

In the 10K race, there were a total of 16 participants crossing the finish line, with Joseph Whitman leading the way in 43:30 to earn first overall.

Jeff Lellock came in next, finishing in 50:46 for second overall, and Stephanie Sandy crossed the finish line not far behind him to finish third overall and first in the women's classification.

Marc Newcome rounded out the male's top-three finishers with a time of 53:01.

Shirley Cyphert (53:51) and Skylyn Kopas (53:58) crossed the line just seven seconds apart to finish second and third in the women's category and fifth and sixth overall.

The 5K was the most popular of the events with 41 participants, and Dylan Buffington set the tone with a time of 16:48 giving him first overall.

Eric Ingros came in second in the men's category and overall with a time of 18:08, and Donald Scheetz finished third overall with a time of 22:56.

Jensen Constantino paced the women's field, finishing in 25:00, good enough for sixth overall. Nicole Boyles (26:26) and Janice Vizza (26:46) rounded out the top three for the women in the 5K.