By Adam Smith
While many may have found the summer solstice as a time to relax, some rose early and laced up their running shoes to be a part of the “Dash in the Bash” hosted by Wabash County YMCA. The race took place at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. This is the second year that the race has been held in Historic Downtown Wabash and it is well on its way to becoming a local tradition.
The main event of the “Dash in the Bash” was a 5-kilometer race that invited all participants to either walk or run a course that winds its way through the hilly landscape of Downtown Wabash. The Fort Wayne Track Club was present to time the race. They used a method of timing called “chip timing”. The runners had to wear a computer chip on their shoes that, when they ran across the mats at the finish line, recorded a precise time.
The overall winners for the males and females were Caleb Augustus and Erica Cordes. They will have a brick created with their names on it to be placed in the walkway in front of the Wabash County YMCA alongside last year’s winners and all of the donors who made the facility possible. Caleb completed the race in 16 minutes and 42 seconds. His time beat the record set last year for fastest time by Chris LaFree who ran the race in 17 minutes and 21 seconds. Erica completed the race with a time of 18 minutes and 30 seconds. She beat the time received by last year’s overall female winner, Brianna Martinez, of 19 minutes and 49 seconds.
Both young and old were present to participate in the race, the proceeds of which were donated to the Wabash County Health Initiative. The Health Initiative is striving to promote physical activity, better nutrition, and a tobacco-free lifestyle in the Wabash area. Event organizer Chris Sloane says that an important aspect of the race is to “engage the community in a healthy activity.” Runner Danielle Smith, a 5k race veteran, agrees and says she really enjoys that “the race is local and the people cheering you on are people you know.”
There were prizes awarded to the winners of each age division in the male and female categories. Everyone who was registered to run in the race was also entered into a raffle for the chance to win a door prize. Those registered also received a Dri-Fit t-shirt for their participation.
Before the runners even got to their marks, the Wabash County YMCA began a different aspect of the event: a pancake breakfast. Sponsored by Miller’s Merry Manor, for just five dollars, a person could get all the pancakes that they could possibly eat. There was also a mile-long “fun run” for the children who had come. A large number of these kids were a part of the SPARK camp at the YMCA. The purpose of the camp is to help children retain what they have learned in school over the summer, promote physical well-being, and fight a growing epidemic of childhood obesity.
However, some of those in attendance were just there to soak up the atmosphere, dance to the music being played over the loudspeakers, and enjoy being with others from the community. With the event taking place right downtown, it was an open invitation for attendees to wander around a little and see what the city of Wabash has to offer. Sloane says that part of what makes this event special compared to others like it is that, while there is the seriousness of the race, it’s also about having fun.
“It’s an experience, not just an event,” he added.
Sloane hopes that race attendance will continue to increase in the years to come. He wants to thank the event volunteers and sponsors who made it possible. To find out about other local events being hosted by the Wabash County YMCA, call 260-563-9622 or visit them on their website at www.wabashcountyymca.org.