Stride for Stone event nets more than $3,500
Running a 5K that honored his friend provided plenty of motivation for Bret Koch.
Koch, who graduated in May from Tonganoxie High School, finished first Saturday in the inaugural Stride for Stone 5K Run/Walk. The race was named after Austin Stone, one of Koch’s track teammates at THS.
Stone was hospitalized in March 2009 after complications arose from medical gas he received while having his wisdom teeth removed.
Koch said knowing the run was named after his friend just pushed him that much harder to try to finish first at the event. Koch said this was his first 5K, but he had been running about three times per week with his sister, Ashli, as a way to stay fit.
“I told him when I got done, ‘You’re lucky I like you because I wouldn’t run three miles that fast for just anyone,’” Koch said.
Koch finished the race in 20 minutes, 55 seconds. Carrie Long was the top female runner, finishing in 24:55.
According to one of the organizers of the event, Tonganoxie dentist Grant Ritchey, roughly 60 runners and walkers total participated in the race. Ritchey said Tuesday that $3,500 has been raised so far and he anticipates the total to be around $4,000.
Proceeds will go toward Team Tongie, the Austin Stone Scholarship and the Brain Injury Association of Kansas.
Stone said after the event that there was a good turnout for the first run.
“I was really pleased, especially with short notice,” Stone said about the race, which organizers had been putting together in recent weeks.
Ritchey said it’s an event that they’re planning to do each year about this time.