Ninth Annual Necktie 5K Offers a Father’s Day Tradition

Ninth Annual Necktie 5K Offers a Father’s Day Tradition

With every holiday comes family traditions and for many families of Northwest Indiana, the Necktie 5K has become a Father’s Day affair. Centered around a necktie theme, participants are asked to sport their favorite tie along with all their running gear.

“I’m in the program committee here in town and we were looking for something to do in June,” said race organizer Curt Kendall. “We decided to do a race for Father’s day and that’s how it started. We really emphasize people to run with their dads.”

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Though limited parking space forces the number of runners to stay under 500, a group of 420 participants ranging from four to 86 years of age was exactly what Kendall was hoping for.

Kendall said, “I love doing 5K’s, particularly small ones. You get to feel like you are part of a community.”

Before the 5K began, everyone was led in a group stretch while live music was played. The Kid’s Sprint marked the first competition of the day, followed by the 5K itself. Because of its location in Beverly Shores, the final mile of the race was run next to the lake. Along with the typical age group awards for first, second, and third place, best neckties were also recognized.

To tie in the Father’s Day emphasis, the first father-son and father-daughter pair to cross the finish line together were also awarded.

The Necktie 5K was the very first race for seven-year-old Tyce Custy who won the father-son pair with father Bryan Custy at a time of 26 minutes.

“[Tyce] has been running with his mom and they got to talking about running a race,” said Custy. “He asked me to do it. It was a fun race. I was just keeping up with him. I thought it would be a much slower run than it ended up being. He did a great job.”

For Nicole, 31, and David Hartford, 55, a father-daughter victory was nothing new. With a time just under 22 minutes, the pair won for the fourth year in a row.

“It’s just a really nice race,” said Nicole. “It’s put together really well and I love to run it with my dad. It’s a neat race to have for Father’s Day weekend.”

David said, “It’s a great family event. My daughter and I keep running so that we can keep our title.”

No matter which way you turned, a father and child were enjoying themselves, making the race a clear success. Even the race organizer himself got to enjoy time with his father.

Kendall’s father Fred, 74, competed in his eighth Necktie 5K, placing third in his age division.

“It really amazes me,” said Fred. “Nine years ago he had nothing. It went to his brain and he thought of this race and he has made everything you see here. He produced it all and I don’t know how he did it.”