Fifth annual Run the Rails draws 163 competitors to WERT

By on June 19, 2019
Jacob Breece (left) and Alejandro Echavarria battled for middle-of-the-pack bragging rights at the fifth annual Running the Rails event Saturday, June 8, which began at the Dick Winters Memorial on the Ephrata portion of the Warwick to Ephrata rail trail. Photo by Dick Wanner

Jacob Breece (left) and Alejandro Echavarria battled for middle-of-the-pack bragging rights at the fifth annual Running the Rails event Saturday, June 8, which began at the Dick Winters Memorial on the Ephrata portion of the Warwick to Ephrata rail trail. Photo by Dick Wanner

 

John Connolly grew up in farm country in his native Ireland, which is one reason he and his wife, Carolyn, leave their Philadelphia home to visit Lancaster County. Another reason is the Warwick to Ephrata rail trail, where Connolly captured first place in the fifth annual Run the Rails competition on Saturday, June 8. His time for the 10K distance was a little over 42 minutes in spite of the fact that he was lured off the course early on by a runner ahead of him who took a wrong turn.

“So he actually ran a 10.2K!” said his wife, who didn’t run and who was waiting for him at the finish line.

Lancaster’s Patrick Lafferty tackled the 5K portion of the race, and was first to finish. He barely broke a sweat in 22:55 on the course. Lafferty said he loves the course for the trees, the flatness, the nature and the absence of traffic.

Finishing second and third in the 10K were Paula Martin and Sarah Brendle. Finishing out the top three in the 5K were Paul Rhine and Sam Walton.

Race organizers Denise and Jeremy Guldin own Knead It Massage and Body Works at 21 Springhouse Road in Ephrata. Their Saturday morning race became a one-of-a-kind event last year after the WERT trail committee adopted a Sundays-only rule for races.

“We were grandfathered for our race because we’ve been doing it so long,” Denise said.

The WERT committee is composed of representatives from each of the five municipalities through which the trail passes. They are Lititz, Warwick Township, Ephrata Township, Akron, and Ephrata Borough.

Denise said after all expenses are paid, they expect to net about $4,000 from Saturday’s race. She said the entire proceeds will be donated to Ephrata borough for enhancements to the borough’s portion of the trail.

What those enhancements will be has yet to be determined.

Dick Wanner is a reporter/photographer for the Ephrata Review. He can be reached at rwanner.eph@lnpnews.com.

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