My good friend, Paul Kern brought this race back a couple years ago and has done a great job expanding this race. There was just under 100 runners the first year, then last year there were 105 runners that competed in the race. This year, the race more than doubled in size with 225 runners.
The course was the same as last year with the start line being on the south end or Memorial Park behind Wakarusa Elementary School, made its way out for the first out and back down some less traveled roads in town, came back to the park, got onto the path around the park, hoped onto another road on the north side of the park for the second out and back, came back and finished back on the walking path in the park. It is really and easy course to follow and with all the volunteers that were on the course, it was impossible to get lost. Even with doubled the number of runners at this years race, it did not get too congested on the roads or the walking path.
Along with the higher numbers of registered runners came a lot more speed. Not that I had any chance of placing in the top 3 anyways (6 days post marathon), the larger numbers certainly did not help me at all. After winning the inaugural Maple Syrup 5k in 2016, I have come to the realization that I may never place in the top 3 again and win the big bottle of maple syrup. Also, the Fleet Feet gift cards I am sure helped entice the speed demons to run the race as well. The awards for this race cant be bear. The top 3 overall in both the male and female divisions won a large bottle of maple syrup. The top 3 in each age division won a small bottle of syrup. There is some pressure from some of the children for their parents to win the large bottle of syrup. Each runner also received a cotton t-shirt with their registration. I usually complain about this but for a cheaper race, its hard to complain about it. This year also, your tag was taken off of your race bib before the race and put into a raffle for free shirts from fleet feet, free race registrations for other races, and other great stuff related to the festival in town. Winners were drawn while everyone was running and you were able to come to the tables to see if you won after you finished.