NEW TROY — A different kind of Run to the Center of the World took place Saturday, Oct. 24, in New Troy.

A total of 55 people participated in the ninth annual event, which included 5K runs and walks along with a half-marathon race. Although about a dozen of them hit the road after Scott Vines fired the starting cannon at 8 a.m., many others crossed the start/finish line over the next hour or so since staggered starts were part of the COVID-19 adjustments made to the event.

These also included: Breakfasts were pre-packed and included in a bag with race shirt and bib; there was no awards ceremony (certificates will be sent by mail); masks were required everywhere but on the course.

Terry Hanover of the Friends of New Troy (the non-profit organization which sponsored the event and operates the New Troy Community Center) said "we're surviving on Zoom."

"We're being very cautious about re-opening until we can be safe," he added.

The first runner in (at about 19:19 for the 5K) was Craig Miller of Elkhart, Ind., who said it was his first time running in New Troy.

Close behind was Gavin Hanover of Bloomfield Township, Mich. (but originally from New Troy). He said Miller passed him about 2 and a 1/4 miles into the run.

For 5K runners Jeff Barchett and George Gardiner, New Troy means a lot.

George said he attended the former New Troy School through the eighth grade, and both were UPS drivers in the area.

Jeff said he retired this year from a delivery route that included Galien, Three Oaks and New Troy.

Heather Nitz of Stevensville and John Murphy of Sawyer ran the 5K together.

They both noted that a rainbow that appeared over the Community Center during the run was beautiful.

to the official results, top finishers included:

• 5K Run — 1. Craig Miller; 2. Gavin Hanover; 3. Jeff Barchett; 4. Jaxon Dehaven; 5. Kylee Sprague (first female finisher); 6. B.J. Clark; 7. Brad Clark; 8. Jon Vickers; 9. Emily Howell; 10. Jim Vickers.

• 5K Walk — 1. Maria Smith; 2. Denise Luna; 3. Debbie Rieth; 4. Diana Post; 5. Kelhan Martin; 6. Molly Kobelt; 7. Sherry Brenner; 8. Albert Nuti; 9. Suzanne Nuti.

• Half-Marathon — 1. Lauren Anderson; 2. Sam Wassel; 3. Jonathan Ripke;. 4. Griffin Gildea; 5. Lauren Worster; 6. Matt Geiger; 7. Courtney Stegman; 8. Allyson Hodge; 9. Mikala Parker; 10. Carlee Andress.

Sponsors for the 2020 Run to the Center of the World include: Combined Insurance Agencies; Vickers Engineering; Center of the World Woodshop Showroom; Granor Farm; Corvette Central; Oldenburg and Sons Excavating; Meijer Stevensville; Burkholder Excavating; ArtFX; Big C Lumber; Sawyer Antique Mall; G.L. Wasko & Sons; Greenbush Brewing Co., Molly's Corner Store; Baroda City Mills; State Fam Tom Rossman; Chad's Paint Supply; Bryan's Automotive; and Advantage Business Services.

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