Annual St. Patrick's Day 5K runners fill downtown with green

Saturday, March 17, 2012 | 4:14 p.m. CDT; updated 8:19 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 17, 2012

COLUMBIA — Downtown streets were filled with a sea of green on St. Patrick's Day morning. 

More than 600 runners of all ages — most of them wearing green T-shirts — participated in the Columbia Track Club's annual St. Patrick's Day 5K race.

Division winners

Overall winners: Christian Reed and Katie Hauser

Winners of each age group:

  • 9 and under: Zachary Mariott and Jenna Perkey
  • 10 to 14: Matthew Stroud and Katy Lydon
  • 15 to 19: Jacob Schweikert and Brianna Heese
  • 20 to 24: Zach Chapman and Susan Linneman
  • 25 to 29: Erik Stone and Laura Hillard
  • 30 to 39: Ryan Hauser and Katie Hauser 
  • 35 to 39: Matt Widzer and Anne Sievers
  • 40 to 44: Christian Reed and Marzena Tomicki
  • 45 to 49: Marc Keys and Lisa Wells
  • 50 to 54: Steve Cutforth and Nancy Taube
  • 55 to 59: Phil Schaefer and Lucy Urlacher
  • 60 to 69: Mark Scholes and Summer Allen
  • 70 and above: Joe Duncan and Nancy Fritsch 

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The 3.1 mile run started and ended at the corner of Sixth and Ash streets. 

Barney Sword, 80, was the oldest participant in the 5K. He has been doing this particular race for at least 20 years, in addition to six or seven others around Columbia, he said.

"I like the group, I like the exercise, and I really like finishing the race," Sword said.

Christian Reed, 41, finished first in the race in the male division with a time of 16:48, and Katie Hauser, 30, won the female division with a time of 18:24. 

Hauser has participated in the 5K for four years and has won three times.

"I love running the streets of downtown Columbia," Hauser said. "The atmosphere is great, and the runners just come out and have a really good time together."

Her husband, Ryan, 30, and her two sons Andrew, 6, and Matthew, 8, also ran the race. Ryan Hauser placed second overall and first in his age division despite having the flu. 

"If the weather is nice the kids come," Hauser said. "They like to cheer us on and participate in the kids' races." 

Nancy Taube, 51, claims the 5K as one of her favorites because of the good weather and has participated in the past 10 St. Patrick's Day races. 

"It is the first one of spring, and it is a good race," Taube said. "It also benefits the youth program, which is awesome." 

Taube won her age group at the 5K, and she also won her age group at the recent Cross Country Nationals in St. Louis.

"It was only 17 degrees out, and there was a light dusting of snow," Taube said. "Of course the race was on the one day of bad weather we had this winter." 

Bill Stolz, 40, is the president of the Columbia Track Club, which does the behind-the-scenes organizing for the St. Patrick's Day 5K and sponsors 14 other races in Columbia during the year. He said he is usually busy helping out at the race but was able to run in it this year. 

"The people are fantastic," Stolz said. "They are some of the nicest people I have ever met. And it is just fun. The course and competition are a lot of fun."

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