SLIDESHOW: Milford Runs the Goat, Again to raise money for local youth

MILFORD – “No one can run this race in under 18 minutes,” Joe Gannon announced before the Running of the Goat, Again 5K began Friday night. “The goat won’t allow it.”

But that’s just what 23-year-old Alex Hampel of Middletown set out to do. At 16 minutes and 24 seconds, he crossed the finish line more than two minutes under last year’s top racer, Milford’s own 17-year-old Bryan Perry. Bryan clocked in at 18:23 this year compared to a time of 18:34 in last year’s event.

Nearly 300 participants came together Friday night for the race, celebrating good weather, companionship and fitness all for a good cause.

Although Executive Director of the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club Tod Van Eyken said it was too early to tell just how much was raised for his organization, he called the event a success.

About 200 runners pre-pregistered for the event, according to Barb Kursh of Races 2 Run, with another almost 100 participants showing up Friday night to register before the race began.

“And I have to say that this is the largest kiddie race I’ve seen all summer,” she said of the Running of the Kids race that happened shortly before the timed race.

Children and adults involved in the Running of the Kids walked from the event hub located in the parking lot of Arena’s Restaurant to the Milford Public Library. From there, they gave it all they had and ran to the finish line while officers from the Milford Police Department kept careful watch.

Kids ran during the Running of the Kids event for free with no timing or awards.

The event also featured live bands, real goats, a photo booth, food and water for racers and outdoor activities such as a bounce house, hula hoops and sidewalk chalk for the kids.

“Really, this event has everything. I mean, It’s rare to find a party like this that is all about raising money for a good cause,” Ms. Kursh said. “And the sponsors were really hands-on involved. That’s unheard of. They all came together today and made it happen.”

Mispillion River Brewing was just one of those sponsors who came out during the event, offering samples and brews to interested adults in attendance.

With everything coming together, Joe Gannon, one of the event organizers, said he couldn’t have been happier with the event.

“You know what really made it for me was that people stuck around afterwards. Our key focus was to have a family friendly event, but families like to drink beer, too,” he explained. “Drinking outside on a beautiful night in late August… it’s a great start to the weekend. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.”

Mr. Gannon, a Felton resident, said he loves coming to Milford for events and began pointing out everyone he knew.

“When I think about Milford, to me there’s a lot of heart here. The community has a lot of young families that have gone away, but come back here. There’s a real sense of community that’s really an epicenter to the town. It’s like a portal,” he continued.

For more on the Run the Goat, Again 5K event and a list of top racers, check out this week’s issue of The Milford Chronicle.

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Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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