KINGSTON TWP. — Tony Korch ran to his fifth win in the Spring Trail Run “Jen Stec Memorial” at Frances Slocum State Park on Sunday.
The 56-year-old from Nanticoke finished the 5.3 miler, which was run as an age group handicap race, in 52 minutes and 14 seconds.
In the age group handicap race, the clock starts ticking when the older runners head out in the first heat, giving them a head start. So Korch’s actual finishing time, once you subtract the time delay under which he ran, was 37:32.
Sunday’s race marked the third time the event was run as the Jen Stec Memorial. Stec, who was an avid trail race runner, died following a heart attack in October 2013 at age 38. Stec won the spring race six times. And she won the fall version of the race twice.
Korch, who has won the fall race four times, was Stec’s training partner and best friend. Stec’s parents, Tony and Coreen, were present at the race.
“I would like to thank the Wyoming Valley Striders for having a race in Jen’s name,” Korch said following his victory. “I’m happy that Jen’s parents were here today for the race. And I’m glad I still can compete and run hard at my age.”
Running hard is the only way Melissa Delfino runs a race.
The 47-year-old from Dunmore was the first female finisher, clocking in at 1:00:46 in ninth place. Her actual finishing time was 46:32.
“I just run as hard as I can — that’s the way I always run,” said Delfino, who is a physical education teacher at Moscow Elementary Center in the North Pocono School District.
Delfino, who has been running for eight years, recently finished her third Boston Marathon. She finished “The Race” in 3 hours and 48 minutes, which qualified her to run Boston again next year.
“I love trail races,” she said. “Running on the earth is a lot more enjoyable than running on roads. I think God intended for us to run on earth.”
Note: The handicaps were determined by the World Masters Association, an organization that collects stats on just how much runners slow down with age.
Wyoming Valley Striders 25th annual Spring Trail
(5.3 mile) Run (an age group handicap race) results
Top 20 award winners
Tony Korch, 56, Nanticoke, 52:14
Joe Drumsta, 47, Scranton, 57:03
Aaron Stredny, 35, Forty Fort, 57:03
Randy Lyback, 46, Dupont, 58:12
Bill Fiore, 65, Clarks Green, 58:49
Leo Turissini, 64, Scott Twp., 59:28
Markus Anttila, 36, Dunmore 59:46
Dan Rosa, 46, W. Pittston, 1:00:16
Melissa Delfino, 47, Dunmore, 1:00:31
Jeff Baran, 55, Beer Creek Twp., 1:00:46
Mike Kerrick, 27, Clarks Summit, 1:02:16
Debbie Alunni, 64, Jessup, 1:02:34
Ron Lozowski,46, Warren Glen, NJ, 1:02:51
Ashley Shamus, 28, Clarks Summit, 1:03:32
Virginia Reinert, 26 Dallas, 1:03:50
Tony Cerminaro, 79, Jermyn, 1:04:00
Irene Ghezzi, 54, Dallas, 1:04:17
Bob Guzenski, 48, Swoyersville, 1:04:36
George Watson, 30, Dickson City, 1:04:45
Jill Matthews, 36, Ashley, 1:05:08
Field: 67 (39 males, 24 females, four no shows ). Official starter and timing: Vince P. Wojnar. Race directors: Linda Wojnar and Don Grose.
Sunday: River Street 3 Mile Run/Walk at Jewish Community Center, S. River St., Wilkes-Barre at 10:30 a.m. Info: Bill Buzza, 570-824-4646.
Saturday, May 21: The Wilkes-Barre Racing at Harveys Lake races have been canceled.
Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day): Old Fort 5 Miler at Betty Mascelli Borough Park, Wyoming Ave, Forty Forty at 9 a.m. Info: Bernie Popson, 570-498-7665.
Saturday, June 4: West Pittston Anthracite 4 Mile Run at W. Pittston Borough Building, Exeter Ave., W. Pittston at 9 a.m. Info: Don Sherrer, 570-357-9944.
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @tlsports.