Runners lace up to help spay, neuter program

For The Tribune

The rain held off, and the weather ended up being ideal for Saturday morning’s FLASH Jackson County 5K/Half Marathon/Dog Walk.

The event, which started at 8 a.m., had a record turnout in its sixth year.

Proceeds from the event go to FLASH Jackson County, a low-cost spay and neuter program.

The event brought in around 400 participants. More than 250 competed in the half-marathon and around 100 for the 5K.

Nearly 40 people also came for the dog walk portion of the event.

The community gathered to put on the benefit.

“It takes over 100 volunteers to pull this off,” event organizer Jeff Niewedde of Indiana Timing said.

Niewedde and FLASH relied on the city police, fire, and ambulance services, the Seymour Multi-sport club, the Seymour cross-country teams, SNAP Fitness and FLASH volunteers to coordinate this growing event.

“This is the biggest crowd we’ve had by about 70 or 80,” Niewedde said.

Renee Hinderlider, of FLASH Jackson County said, “Things went great today. We operate on 100 percent donations, so we rely on these fundraisers to keep our program running. We could not do this without our volunteers. We also have raffles going on, and have some late day registrations.”

FLASH Jackson County received between $5,000 and $6,000 for their cause.

Spaying or neutering dogs can be very expensive, but FLASH provides the service at a very low cost.

“We have a huge problem with stray animals here in Jackson County,” Hinderlider said. “The only way to put a stop to that is to spay and neuter stray animals. It’s very low-cost (with FLASH), but if you can’t afford it, we can help with that.”

Megan McKinney of Seymour said she enjoyed running the 5K and supporting the cause.

“It was great,” McKinney said. “Overcast skies were great. It’s the same course as the Oktoberfest 5K. It was a good cause and a good run. I would encourage anyone to do it, walk or run.”

Sam Castetter, 11, runs for fun, but said he hopes to run in school someday.

He ran his best time in the 5K, with a time of 23:02.

“It was fun,” Castetter said. “There were some uphills and downhills. “The people were encouraging and they were all very nice people.”

Former state high school cross-country champion Christian Wagner, 29, won the half-marathon with a time of 1:14:15. Sarah McGovern, 37, was the first female finisher with at 1:35:01.

Rob Weaver, 51, of Columbus, won the 5K race with a 19:06 time. He said he thought the organizers did a good job.

“Good run, it was well put on,” said Weaver. “It was well organized and I’ll come back.”

Lindsey Montgomery, 23, was the top female finisher in the 5K with a 24:38.5.

At a glance

If someone wants to donate or receive further information regarding FLASH Jackson County they can go to, or call them at 812-498-2004.

Donations can also be sent to: FLASH Jackson County, P.O. box 525, Seymour, IN 47274

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