Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 2:20 PM on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shorebird fest's fun run attracts all ages, abilities

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

Having already completed the 5k Migration Run on Sunday morning, John Chappel III, left, does it a second time to accompany his father, 89-year-old John Chappel Jr., across the finish line at the base of the Homer Spit. The elder Chappel finished the course in a time of 59:20. Nine members of the family entered the Shorebird Festival event, with 3-year-old Kai Waltenbaugh of Kodiak the family's youngest entrant. Kai finished the course in a time of 47:11.

A flock of 186 runners and walkers, plus a few youngsters in strollers, migrated along the Spit Trail in the 5k Migration Run on Sunday morning. The activity is part of Shorebird Festival and organized by the Kachemak Bay Running Club. The course began near the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and ended at the base of the Spit.

The winning time was 17:36, posted by Tux Seims. The fastest woman runner was Heather Gaines, crossing the finish line in 20:33.

"Interestingly, about 20 minutes before the race, I looked around and there was a moderate amount of people. Then I went on a 10-minute warm-up run and when I came back it was packed with people registering," said Bill Steyer, running club president. "It was wonderful."

Among the athletes crossing both the start and finish line were 89-year-old John Chappel Jr., and eight members of his family stretching across four generations. Chappel completed the run in 59:20. The family's youngest entrant, 3-year-old Kai Waltenbaugh of Kodiak, completed the entire race in 47:11 beside his cousin, 13-year-old Megan Pitzman. The youngest member of the family, 19-month-old Rio, finished the run in the comfort of a stroller.

The next event organized by the Kachemak Bay Running Club will be a fun run on May 31.

"This event is intended to help promote awareness of the annual Relay For Life fundraiser," said Steyer of the American Cancer Society fundraiser scheduled in Homer for June 8-9. More details on that run will be available soon.

For complete results of Sunday's Migration Run, visit www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation/kachemak-bay-running-club or stop by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.