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Hearty runners and walkers at 2019 Shamrock Shuffle

McCOOK, Neb. —The die-hard athletes turned out Saturday for the sixth annual Shamrock Shuffle in McCook, despite the cold and rain.

Nearly 100 walkers and runners left the Knights of Columbus Hall for a 5K or 10K race on the streets and walking trails of McCook.

Some were draped in ponchos, others had rain jackets, while some just grabbed the nearest trash bag to put over their head.

But in the end, the conditions were favorable for running a fast race, with several runners noting that they set PR’s or a personal record at the Shamrock Shuffle.

The overall 5K winner in 23.17 was Caleb Wilkinson, who also claimed the men’s 19 and under division. The top female 5K runner was Ashley Ambrosek in 24:51.

In the 10K division, David Junker was first overall in 41.45, repeating at the 10K champ and beating his time of 42.17 from last year. Staci Blomstedt also repeated at the 10K female winner with an improved time of 47.18, from last year’s 47.47.

Other top finishers:5K Women’s: 19 and under, Emma Graff; 20-29, Ashley Ambrosek; 30-39, Brandi White; 40-49, Shelley Wilkinson; 50-59 Lana Stewart; 60 and over, Sharon Beiber.

5K Men’s: 19 and under, Caleb Wilkinson; 20-29, William Ortiz; 30-39, Kevin Stritt; 40-49, Troy Swartz; 50-59, Jim Gonzales; 60 and over, Mitch Lyster.

10K Women’s: 30-39, Staci Blomstedt; 40-49, Tonya Koeppen; 50-59, Martha Chmiel

10K Men’s: 19 and under, Davien Hanson; 20-29, Joshua Shiach; 40-49, David Junker; 50-59, Kenneth York; 60 and over, Ray Chmiel Complete results are available online at www.republicanriverfitnessseries.com or with a link from the YMCA website.

Sponsored by the YMCA and the McCook Knights of Columbus, proceeds from the Shamrock Shuffle go toward the youth sports program at the YMCA and youth activities at St. Patrick Elementary.

Next up is Randy’s Run 5K/Half-Marathon on Saturday, April 13 in memory of Randy Andrew, who enjoyed long, off-road races. The afternoon race starts at 2 p.m. at the Red Willow State Recreation Area north of McCook.

Race day registration begins at 1 p.m. at the end of the main, upper level campground. \The course will be on-road and off-road, plus a trek by the bison herd. Those running the 5K will run one lap, while the half-marathon participants will run the course four times.

The Republican River Fitness Series features 11 events, from 5K to triathlons to off-road races, and is a collaboration between the Ed Thomas YMCA and Community Hospital.

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