NEW TROY — Although the New Troy Run to the Center of the World is very much an autumn 5K run and walk, those participating on Oct. 22 could be forgiven for thinking the next major holiday was Memorial Day instead of Halloween.

A sunny summer-like day mixed with glorious fall colors made for a very special 11th edition of an event that started and finished at the New Troy Community Center.

“It was beautiful on this fall day,” said first female finisher Amanda Brunke (she placed sixth overall in the 5K run).

“It’s very nostalgic to run in New Troy because I grew up playing here in the blueberry fields – my grandmother had a farm,” Brunke added.

Defending champ Boden Genovese of Coloma (first across the finish line again, with a 2022 time of 16:35) said the race was blessed with “great weather – it wasn’t very windy or anything.”

Genovese said he enjoyed his second time around on the there-and-back course through “The Center of the World.”

“I know some people may think it’s boring to go and turn around, but I like it because you know where the finish is,” he said.

The high school junior was a week away from competing with his Comet teammates in a regional meet at Bangor.

One of those teammates, Brodie McQuillan, a CHS senior who finished second on Oct. 22, said he was glad to “get out here and run.”

Third place was contested between 2022 River Valley graduate Jaren Christ and former Center of the World 5K winner Jeff Barchett.

Christ held off a late surge by Barchett (their times differed by a tenth of a second).

“I kept looking behind me because I was a little nervous – I kept thinking he was going to come and catch me,” Christ said.

“I just kind of stayed around third and I got close, but that’s good enough. I’m first in the senior group,” noted Barchett, who is 60.

Also winning among his age-group peers was 10-year-old Jason Czerniak-Manning, who came in 10th overall in the run.

“I just started running 5Ks in competitions this year,” he said.

Terry Hanover said he walked the 5K course in “record time” of one hour and four minutes.

“It was the nicest walk you could imagine,” he said. “Fall colors, perfect temperature, people were all in a good mood.”

Some of the proceeds from the Run to the Center of the World will support efforts by the Friends of New Troy to transform the Community Center library into a media center.

“We’re going to have different stations throughout it for different age groups,” said Lorraine Hanover of the non-profit Friends group.

She said about $11,000 has been raised so far toward a $43,500 goal.

“We’ll be having a fund-raiser in the winter months. We’re getting lost of individual donations and I’m working on writing grants right now,” Hanover said.

She said work is set to begin in November with renovation work in the Community Center’s meeting room.

“Then we’ll shift at the library stuff into the meeting room while we tear the library apart and re-do everything – floor, window treatments, paint … And then put back a curated collection of books and we’ll have stations set up for different types of games and gaming throughout the room. And people will be able to come and check out a Chromebook or take part in a video game or Lego challenge, different things like that. And we’ll still have Story Time and looking to have book clubs and maybe a book and movie club.”

The top 25 finishers in the Run to the Center of the World 5K run were: 1. Boden Genovese (16:35); 2. Brodie McQuillan (20:49.5); 3. Jaren Christ (23:32); 4. Jeff Barchett (23:32.1); 5. Howard Speizer (24:49.2); 6. Mandy Brunke (First female, 26:20.1); 7. Adam Kosteva (26:29.5); 8. Gina Pellouchoud (Second female, 26:34.3); 9. Jim Vickers (27:04.8). 10. Jason Czerniak-Manning (27:50.7); 11. Korey Manning; 12. Michael Grantham; 13. Jack Lo Presti; 14. Julie Cain; 15. Marisa Carpinelli; 16. Cameron Hanover; 17. Marta Czerniak-Manning; 18. Henry Czerniak-Manning; 19. Karen Keefer; 20. Amy Blaine; 21. Steven Blaine; 22. Daniel Brunke; 23. Carter Brunke; 24. Crystal Gleason; 25. Sabrina Bellaire.

The top 25 finishers in the 5K walk were (three entries were entered under the name Jessica Smith):

1. Jessica Smith; 2. Jessica Smith; 3. Lisa Zumbach; 4. Mark Zumbach; 5. Linda Beck; 6. Laura Korbel; 7. William Korbel; 8. Jessica Smith; 9. Matthew Smith; 10. Christine Hanaj; 11. Kim Shermak; 12. Linda McDonald; 13. Leslie Grimm; 14. Michael Shelton; 15. Megan Sukich; 16. Lisa Kehoe; 17. Scott Schutze; 18. Suzanne Nuti; 19. Albert Nuti; 20. Felix Schutze; 21. Olivia Schutze; 22. Jennifer Warden; 23. Sarah Sherman; 24. Mary Coupe; 25. Nancy Wineapple.

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