Saturday morning was a bit nippy for most springtime activities, but it was almost perfect for distance running.
One hundred and seventy-eight runners and walkers converged on Tomah’s Recreation Park to take advantage of pleasant conditions for the annual Tomah Area Cancer Support five-kilometer run/walk. Participants ranging from committed runners to parents transporting their little ones in strollers took part.
The winner was 22-year-old Jacob Bryan of Mindoro. He ran the course in 17 minutes, 10 seconds and was one of three runners to break the 20-minute barrier. He enjoyed running the flat course that took runners along Lake Tomah.
“I like this course,” Bryan said. “It’s definitely a p.r. course. You can get some fast times on this course. Besides that one little hill in the first mile, it’s nice.”
The other two runners under 20 minutes were Michael Western (18:30) and Tony Steinhoff (18:54).
Jodi Bradley was the first female to cross the finish line. She was eighth overall with a time of 22:27.
Thomas Rudey, who helped organize the race, was pleased with the turnout, which set a record for registrations and participants.
“Each year we’ve done it attendance has grown,” he said. “I believe it has the potential to get even larger in years to come. Of course, it always helps to have great weather like we did.”
The run helps raise funds to assist cancer patients in the Tomah Area School District and Wilton area. Their assistance includes financial assistance to pay for gas, groceries or whatever else a cancer patient and his or her family needs.
Activities at Recreation Park also included a pancake breakfast.
Rudey said the event “has a tremendous impact in increasing overall cancer awareness as the mission of TACS is to support individuals and their families cope with the financial and emotional burden of this disease. The fact that so many people come out to participate in the TACS 5K speaks volumes about how strongly Tomah ... takes care of its own.”
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.