Payton Karns, age 9, races through the trails to be the first female across the finish line.

DC Parks holds inaugural Raptor Run 5k

The Darke County Park District held their first annual Raptor Run 5k on Saturday June 25, 2022. Runners took to the scenic park trails at 9 a.m. while being cheered on by the Raptors themselves! With the help of 92 participants, $2,000 was raised to benefit the Raptor Education Program at the Darke County Parks. In-classroom visits are offered to all Darke County Schools through the Adopt-a-Bird program. Students will enjoy learning about our local birds of prey during these meet-and-greets with one or more of our raptor ambassadors: Pip (Eastern Screech Owl), Umber (Barred Owl), and Spirit (Red-tailed Hawk).

The race was won by Matthew Lee. The runner-up male was Dustin Holmes, and Christian McDowell took home third place overall male. The first female to cross the line was Payton Karns. Second place female was Anna Briner with Tammy Watts taking home the bronze. This successful inaugural event was made possible with these local sponsors: Platinum Sponsors – Choice One Engineering & American Legion Post 140, Gold Sponsor – Wayne Health Care, Silver Sponsor – Eikenberry’s Foodliners, and Bronze Sponsor – KTL Performance Mortgage.

Prizes for the overall winners and top male and female in each age group were given gift cards to local businesses including: Friends of Bear’s Mill, A Broadway Barber Shop, Bread of Life Bookstore, Caio Bella, The Coffee Pot, Countryside Bike Shop, Dairy King, Double M Diner, Granny’s Corner Frame Shop, The Hair Shack, Happily Ever Co., Jack’s Cabin, Me & PJ, Merle Norman, Montage Café, Shelly’s Antiques, Studio 1 Hair Design, Sweet Annie’s Cabin, Turtle Creek Golf & Lounge. We would like to thank them for their support! Sad you missed it? Save the date for next year’s Raptor Run 5K taking place on Saturday June 24, 2023.

Follow Darke County Parks on Facebook & Instagram or go to to sign up for our quarterly newsletter and never miss another event.

Darke County Parks volunteer Jerry Lamb holding Pip the Eastern Screech Owl, to cheer on 5k participants.

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This article was written by someone else and submitted to Darke County Now for publication.

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