The annual Rotary Unity Run draws people of all ages from all over the country not just to run or walk, but to make a statement about the unity in comm-unity. Honeymooners from as far away as Maryland have come to the event to underscore their commitment to each other with a 10 mile run. This year’s Unity Run had participants from nine different states and as far away as Wisconsin. The first run was a celebration of the opening of the Unity Trail that unites the twin cities of Kenai and Soldotna with a highly used bike and walking trail. Years later the event still underscores the areas desire to stand together to meet life’s challenges. Sponsored by the Soldotna, Kenai and Kenai River Rotary Clubs the 10 mile and 5K race gives Rotarians the opportunity to showcase their motto of “Service Above Self” and local sponsors the chance to support the many local service projects and scholarships of the three clubs.
It was the youth of the community that turned in the fastest times of the more than 150 participants this year. From Kenai Central High School, 16-year-old Jordan Theisen and his twin brother Jonah turned in the fastest times in the 5K with a time of 15 minutes 54 seconds and Jonah just 40 seconds off his brother pace. It was Jordan’s third race win in four days, “It was a good course and I liked it, my goal was to get a time under 16:30 and the conditions allowed me to do that,” he said. For the women it was a 15-year-old Homer High student Aurora Waclawski taking first in the 5K with a time of 20:33. “The temperature was really good and the course flat compared to a lot of the cross country running I’ve done the last two years. I like the Unity Run because our whole family came up to run it together,” she said. In the 10 mile it was Adam Reimer of Soldotna who was first to cross the finish line in just one hour and one minute, “My goal was to run 6 minute miles, but the ten mile course is hard, it’s a hilly course at the last half and that slows you down but it’s what I like best and of course also having my wife out there running as well makes this a really good event,” said Reimer. Reimer’s four month old son watched from the car but joined dad in his belly carrier for the ribbon ceremony. His wife Carley turned in fantastic time just four months after giving birth at 1:34:55. Reimer said he will be back to defend his title next year and try to break the one hour ten mile ceiling. Coming in first for the women’s 10 Mile Run was Susan Craig ,a former marathon champion from Louisiana who now lives in Alaska, with a time of 1:12:52. For a complete listing of all Rotary Unity Run times and participants go to www.peninsulaclarion.com and look for Rotary Unity Run results.
See PHOTOS, page 5