ENNIS – Perfect breezes cooled the race route during National Polka Festival weekend Saturday as the Ennis PolkaFest Run attracted a record field of runners.
“This is the best turnout we’ve ever had,” said organizer Gil Escobar as he prepared a large table filled with gleaming trophies for their recipients.
The weather may have had something to do with the 335-runner turnout that almost doubled last year’s field of 180. Walkup turnout was huge, with 100 people just showing up without preregistering, said organizer and Rotary Club president Carey Bryan.
“We had nice weather – not too hot. We’re very pleased with the turnout. It makes you feel good about your community,” said Bryan.
“It made me feel like losing weight – I sure hope that will pass,” he quipped.
Darleen Cink of Kerens took first among women 60 and older on the 5K run. Her secret?
“Don’t stop moving,” she said.
A multi-aged group from Waxahachie calling themselves the Waxahachie Wabbits was there for their third year. Griselda Camacho described them as a “running family.”
“We all run together and train together,” she said.
The rally cry of “Monday morning, 7:30 at Cedar Hill State Park, right, everybody?” got a rousing response from the group as they parted with their trophies.
Roger Queen, also of the Wabbits, said the PolkaFest Run is a great event.
“They have good food and great trophies,” he said.
Young Raymond Kennedy, who took third in the 10 and under group, agreed.
“It’s fun and exciting,” he said.
And his running secret?
“Set a pace,” Kennedy said.
Congratulatory whoops followed the announcement of first place in the over 60 men’s 5K for Scott McKissick. “He’s still got it!” someone in the crowd yelled.
Elise Gunter, 11, did well in the 5K.
“My whole family likes to run a lot,” she said. “I’ve been doing this even since my parents were pushing me in a baby stroller, so I grew up with it.”
John Marlin, 14, took a third place trophy in his age group in the 10K.
“It’s an accomplishment to be able to run 6.2 miles. I just like to be competitive, and it’s fun winning a trophy,” he said.
Texas’ top finisher in the Boston Marathon, Ennis teacher Patricia Vargas, took second overall in the 10K and first among the women.
Her husband, Ennis Junior High School Principal Orlando Vargas, took second in his age group. “I didn’t want to beat her, you know,” he said.
E-mail J. Louise at email@example.com