WAVERLY — Rain didn’t deter people from running or walking on the puddly pavement outside the Waverly Comm on May 12. They were participating in the annual Waverly Waddle, a 5K race held every Saturday before Mother’s Day in honor of mothers and expectant mothers. It is also a fundraiser for the Comm.
Emily Karam, who chairs the sponsors, volunteers and participants of the Waddle, had the runners line up on the top part of Clinton Street just outside the Waverly Deli. They raced down the hill and back up the hill and made a right hand turn. That’s where the finish line was set on the corner of Beech and Church street along with an electric timer generated by Justin Sandy.
With a time of 17 minutes and 49 seconds, Jermyn resident Jeff Bachak became the overall first-place winner. He has much experience in running, participating in track and cross country at Keystone College. He also ran in the Boston Marathon six times but this was his first time running in the Waverly Waddle.
“I thought it was challenging,” he said. “The course was hilly.”
Coming in first place in his age group (0-15) with an award time of 19 minutes and 10 seconds, 13-year-old Alex Duffy, of Waverly Twp., became the overall second-place winner. He is also an avid runne, having competing in many races such as ROAR (Ryan O’Malley Annual Race) 5K in Scranton, Donn’s Dash 5K Run in Wilkes Barre, Furry Friends 5K Run/Walk to benefit Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, and the Cape Cod Championship in Cape Cod, MA.
“I love racing and competing,” Duffy said.
Refreshments were served on the lawn of the Waverly Community House. Lee Jamison of Annie’s Country Kitchen vended his jams, jellies, and sauces. John Nicolosi, general manager of Weis Markets in Clarks Summit, provided fresh fruits and water to the participants. Class officers of Abington Heights High School Class of 2021 gave away free popsicles to the participants.
Karam appreciated the community’s commitmen, despite the rainy weather.
The Waverly Comm is incredibly grateful for the support of the annual race,” said Karam. “We enjoy seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends in the neighborhood.”