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Runners turn out for Wild Goose Chase
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The first ever Wild Goose Chase enjoyed a better than expected turnout Saturday morning. Winners from five age brackets for the 5 K and three age brackets for the one mile fun run included: 5K females (under 18) Mikeal Ann Loiland, Macksville first, Jessi Kindscher, Hoisington, second; (18-25) Annie Weber, Manhattan, first, Ann Schmitt, Great Bend, second; (26-35) Jessica Ferguson, Great Bend, first, Kelly Hart, Great Bend, second; (36-45) Jill Lane, Great Bend, first, Carrie Feist, Great Bend, second; (over 45) Margie Sheppard, Great Bend, first, Nancy Ritter, Great Bend, second; 5 K males (under 18) Kerby Depenbusch, Great Bend, first, Bryce Divis, Great Bend, second; (18-25) Brian Zinke, Hays, first, Kyle Schiller, Claflin, second; (26-35) Brett Cooper, Great Bend, first, Barret Freund, Great Bend, second; (36-45) Mike Manning, Hays, first, Douglas Lawson, Larned, second; (over 45) Jim McMullen, Ellinwood, first, Dean Nuss, Great Bend, second. One mile females (10 and under) Jordyn Stukey, Great Bend, first, Karley Stukey, Great Bend, second; (11-18) Hannah Lane, Great Bend, first, Lindsey Newman, Great Bend, second; (over 18) Brandi Schmidtberger, Great Bend, first, Regina Stuckey, Great Bend, second. One mile males (10 and under) Brody Feist, Great Bend, first, - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Saturday morning, April 27, 160 runners congregated at Cheyenne Bottoms for the first ever Wild Goose Chase.  

“We had a better than expected turnout, and the comments were very positive, so it is a definite possibility it could become an annual event,” said Curtis Wolf, site manager of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.

Two races were held, a 5K, with 90 participants, and a one mile fun run with 70 participants.  The winners of the 5K received a trophy made by B&B Metal Arts In Hoisington.  And all other first and second place winners in each category in each race received a medal, said Jean Aycock, the KWEC education director.

Several area businesses and the Kansas Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway sponsored the event.

“We were trying to find an event to replace the Wings and Wetlands biannual birding festival when we struck upon this idea,” said Wolf.  Drought conditions prompted a cancellation of the event which would normally have been scheduled for this year, he said.  

Rain fell the evening before, but the roads drained well, so conditions were not an issue for runners.

“Most of the runners preferred running in the cooler weather, so a lot of them  were in seventh heaven,” Wolf said.