By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — The gold cape around the shoulders of Jen Pauls blew backwards from the wind Friday as she waited to run in Goshen’s First Fridays Green Day Frolic 5K Run and 2K Fun Walk.
“I’m really hoping for a lift off,” Pauls said, laughing.
She wore a camouflage running suit with bright pink running shoes to complete her outfit.
“This is the first time I’ve ran in this one. I run to get in shape and I started doing 5Ks last year,” Pauls said. “I do go faster on each one. I’m glad they did this. I found out about it last week.”
Her friend, Alison Gingerich, sported a green shirt with the words “lucky shirt” written on the front with a large shamrock underneath and green sunglasses.
“I hope so,” Gingerich answered, when asked if her shirt would bring her luck. “I just want to finish, that’s my goal. This is my first race, so I’m excited.”
More than 270 runners and walkers waited at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Main Street for Goshen Fire Chief Dan Sink to give the signal to kickoff the race at 6 p.m.
Just a few minutes later, Justin Kowalski of South Bend crossed the finish line with the winning time of 16:01.
“It’s about a second slower than I wanted,” Kowalski said. “I wanted to get under 16. The wind was rough coming back.”
Dave Bussard of Elkhart was second to cross the finish line with a time of 16:37.
“I’m pretty happy with it since it was last December when I raced,” Bussard said. “I always want to break 16 minutes but I may never see it. There aren’t many 53-year-olds breaking it.”
He was pleased with the weather conditions.
“The weather is perfect. It’s just a weird thing racing on a Friday night,” he said, laughing.
It wasn’t weird having a run on a Friday night, especially for the First Fridays in downtown Goshen according to Katrina Maust, First Fridays Coordinator.
“This is our fifth year and we had more than 270 pre-registered and that’s a first,” Maust said. “This is a celebration of spring and kicking it off.”
Nine-year-old Isaac Sensenig and his mom, Donna Shenk Sensenig, were running partners.
“I would like to come in first but I’m just trying to finish,” Isaac said, before the race. “The hardest part of the race is pacing myself.”
They started together, but along the trail Isaac pulled ahead of his mom.
“He finishes quite a lot before me,” Sensenig said.
It was the second time the pair has participated in a race and it won’t be their last she said.