2017-07-27 / Sports

Amato defends Fishtown crown

Suttons Bay teen wins women’s title; 574 runners line up
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


FISHTOWN 5K runners cross the starting line and make their way up River Street on Saturday. Photo: Meggen Watt Photography FISHTOWN 5K runners cross the starting line and make their way up River Street on Saturday. Photo: Meggen Watt Photography For the third straight year, the Fishtown 5K was a clash of the Titans.

Former Traverse City West cross country teammates Nick Amato of Suttons Bay and Jacob Dean of Traverse City paced the pack Saturday in the ninth annual race, crossing first and second for the second straight year in 16:43 and 17:02, respectively.

Minutes later, 13-year-old Hannah Smith of Suttons Bay, another TC West runner, took the top spot on the women’s side with 79 seconds to spare.

West runners, who have finished first and second overall for three straight years, managed to stand out despite the largest crowd in the history of the race.

Summer Meyer of Fishtown Preservation Society said 574 people participated — 59 more than last year. The group of runners at the starting line nearly extended into Lake Michigan.


FISHTOWN 5K mascots Biscuit Burnham, left, and Sky Lindquist- Bishop were instrumental in upping the number of dogs lovers this year. Photo: Meggen Watt Photography FISHTOWN 5K mascots Biscuit Burnham, left, and Sky Lindquist- Bishop were instrumental in upping the number of dogs lovers this year. Photo: Meggen Watt Photography “In the future, maybe we’ll have to wrap them around the harbor parking lot,” Meyer said with a laugh.

The total of funds raised hadn’t been calculated at press time but, based on 2016 numbers, the total figures to clear the $20,000 plateau.

All proceeds benefit Fishtown Preservation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historical integrity of Fishtown.

Meyer said great weather, great vibes and great volunteers helped make this year’s race a success.

“We’re already planning No. 10,” Meyer said of the 2018 race, “because that’s a big one.”

A pair of four-legged friends is receiving partial credit for the turnout.


FISHTOWN 5K winners Nick Amato and Hannah Smith hold up their trophies, replicas of the Joy, on Saturday. Photo: Amanda Holmes FISHTOWN 5K winners Nick Amato and Hannah Smith hold up their trophies, replicas of the Joy, on Saturday. Photo: Amanda Holmes Senior Mascot Biscuit Burnham and Junior Mascot Sky Lindquist- Bishop helped recruit a more dog-friendly crowd.

“We had a lot of pups this year,” Meyer said.

Among the two-legged Leelanau County runners in the crowd were Duane Amato of Suttons Bay — Nick Amato’s dad — and Karen Kirt of Lake Leelanau, who came away with first-place finishes in their respective categories.

See the box on page 14 for a complete list of category winners, or find the Endurance Evolution link on the Fishtown Preservation website.

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