Carmel family ties for second in county race

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Jason and Kathryn Kempson of Carmel work on a puzzle at Forest Park during the inaugural Race Across Hamilton County. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

The Race Across Hamilton County began with an energetic leap forward at Ritchey Woods in Fishers and came to a competitive close at Forest Park in Noblesville.

Second and third place went to two teams from not only the same city, but also from the same family. Jason and Kathryn Kempson (Team No. 16) and Jared and Becca Kempson (Team No. 19) of Carmel shared the same time down to the second. With both teams overall time recorded at 3:01:57, the judges had to determine who qualified for second or third place.

Amanda Jackson, the recreation program coordinator for Fishers Parks, said the judges did this by placing the five park sites into a hat. A site was picked at random and the scores from that site were compared. The team with the best time took second place.

Team No. 2, Shannon McDonald and Meachelle Wishart of Noblesville, took first place – and a $350 prize.

McDonald and Wishart, who have been neighbors and running buddies for about five years, had joked that they should do “The Amazing Race” together. When the opportunity came up for the Race Across Hamilton County, they agreed to sign up.

“It took real team work,” Wishart said.

“We both have our strength and weakness and seemed to really balance out between the two of us. The area that I wasn’t as strong with, Meachelle was strong with,” McDonald explained.

Neither of the women planned or trained for the event. They simply avoided the crowd and focused on the challenges.

“Everyone seemed to run for the closest thing first,” Wishart said.

“And just the opposite of where everyone else went, we ran,” McDonald added.

The day was perfect for the event, and team members enjoyed the challenges at each park and the friendly faces of volunteers who served throughout the day.

“The parks dept. did a really good job of putting it together,” Wishart said.

“There were a lot of volunteers who were cheerful and helpful and helped make it fun,” added McDonald.

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