OSKALOOSA — It was a gorgeous autumn morning for man and beast at Lake Keomah State Park for the sixth annual running of the Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter K95K.
About 40 to 45 runners took the the trails at Lake Keomah, either for the 5K run or the 1-mile walk with their dogs.
“We’re really happy with the turnout,” Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter Executive Director Cas Gott said. “I see a lot of people signed up the day of the race, so that’s great. I think some of them were waiting to see how the weather turned out.”
Doug Kanis, of rural Mahaska County, who running with his dog Ranger, was the first male finisher in the 5K. His wife, Jess Kanis, was the top female finisher.
In previous years, the event had been run at the Lacey Sports Complex, but was moved to Lake Keomah this year because of William Penn University Homecoming activities. Gott said the partnership with Lake Keomah worked out well for both sides.
“Carole Kelderman has been working really hard to beautify this and get it back to the way it used to be when I was a kid,” Gott said. “I think it helps both of us in the end. The shelter wins, and Lake Keomah wins. I think a lot of people kind of forgot about Lake Keomah.”
Feedback was positive from the participants, according to Gott.
“The trails are just gorgeous,” she said. “I’ve been asking a lot of the runners what they thought of it, and they really liked it.”
Funds raised from the K95K will go to the care of the animals at the shelter, including providing food and medical care.
— Herald Staff Writer James Jennings can be reached vial email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @OskyJames.