The Erin is Hope Foundation received a check for over $19,000 after over 450 runners and walkers participated in the Inspire Hope 8K and 1 mile fun run on Sunday afternoon. The Erin is Hope Foundation offers hope to children with severe communicative disorders through the Pollard-Licklider Clinic.
Under sunny skies, a light breeze and temperatures near 80 degrees, the race turned out to be a spectacular event. The 8K kicked off at 3pm at the Waterfront followed by the 1 mile at 4:15pm on Sunday afternoon.
The after-party began soon after with food from area restaurants such as Red Robbin, Chesters Chophouse, Abuelo’s, Fox and Hound, PF Chang’s, Starbucks, and Cocoa Dolce. Live music by the Hub Band was also on-sight.
The certified 8K course consisted of a flat and fast double loop with 6 water stops along the way. Spectators could hang out at the start/finish area and catch a glimpse of each runner a total of 5 times which made spectating easy.
The top 3 men and women each received cash awards of $100, $50, and $25 respectively and the top 3 in each age group received medals. Two team awards were also given for the fastest team and the biggest team.
The top three men had an exciting race with the 2nd and 3rd place men finishing just one second apart. Tim Marshall and Tom O’Connell were both coming off of top three placings at the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon just 2 weeks ago. And Dennis Smithhisler ran the Wichita Prairie Fire Half Marathon with a second place finish yet they hammered out speedy times at the 8K.
The top three overall 8K men were as follows:
- Tim Marshal, 27, Wichita 26:05
- Tom O’Connell, 21, Wichita 26:51
- Dennis Smithhisler, 47, Wichita 26:52
In the women’s race it was Rose Hill’s April Gochenour who pulled away from the women’s field after completing the St. George Marathon with a time of 2:59:49 just three weeks prior.
“My legs are still pretty stale after the marathon. Any race in the first month after a marathon is a rustbuster. The first mile was about the right pace, but then I slipped into a slower pace and my legs were unresponsive. Hopefully I shook off some cobwebs. It was a fantastic event with great crowd support. I will be back next year. It’s definitely a fun one to run.” — April Gochenour
The top three overall 8K women were as follows:
- April Gochenour, 32, Rose Hill 33:37
- Karla Gregg, 35, Wichita 34:23
- Kim Lemon, 30, Wichita 34:36
The one mile winners were as follows:
- Silas Hopper, 17, Valley Center 5:27
- Blake Parsons, 26, Wichita 5:46
- Brandon Kerr, 14, Wichita 5:54
Female one mile winners were as follows:
- Vicki Landwehr, 19, Wichita 7:04
- Maddy Hilgers, 12, Wichita 7:31
- Kendra Berendz, 36, Wichita 7:40
Check out professional race photos by Gina Dreher Photography along with complete race results.