More than 100 runners join in Friends of Moffat County Education’s Wake the Whittler | CraigDailyPress.com

More than 100 runners join in Friends of Moffat County Education’s Wake the Whittler

Group also hosting 5K fundraising events later this summer

Craig families were up bright and early Saturday morning to get the blood moving and to lend their support to Friends of Moffat County Education.

FMCE's Wake the Whittler 5K and One Mile Fun Run/Walk saw 123 participants hit the trail along Loudy-Simpson Park, with all ages from infants in strollers to toddlers moving as fast as their legs could carry them to older students to adults.

The 5K course wove around the outskirts of Loudy-Simpson before ending at the park area right next to the row of carving entries.

Riley Allen, 16, finished first overall, at a time of 20 minutes and 50 seconds. As a runner in track and cross country, he was glad to be able to run in a less competitive environment.

"It's just good to get in a race before the season starts," he said. "The training really helps."

Cross country practices begin in August.

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Fellow Moffat County High School athletes Stelios Peroulis and Issik Herod followed, their runs a workout before heading to wrestling camp in Gunnison.

Derek Duran was the first adult to finish the 5K, while Ary Shaffer, another track and cross country harrier, was the first girl.

At seven months pregnant, Katie Haskins was a little slower than she is used to being as a habitual runner, though that didn't stop her from enjoying the atmosphere.

"I love my morning runs," she said. "There's nothing like early morning."

The money raised from registration will aid in the works by FMCE, which has provided technology in Craig classrooms, high school-level science equipment, Missoula Children's Theatre, a summer bookmobile and many other projects for local kids.

The organization will host more running 5K events in the months to come, including the fall's Leaf Cruncher and the Dew Buster during the Moffat County Balloon Festival.

Member Amy Peck said the group is hoping to add some new elements, if possible.

"I'd like to make it a color run, if we can get that going," she said of the Dew Buster. "That should be fun going with all the balloons."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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