Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – The Souhegan Lions Club hosts an annual peanut butter chip hunt

With a siren cry from a Temple-Greenville police car, they were gone – the runners of the Souhegan Lions Club’s annual peanut butter chip hunt.

The 5-kilometer race returned in person for 2022 after going virtual last year, and 16-year-old JaceJoslyn took first place with a time of 18 minutes, 53 seconds. Second place was Gavin Ketola, 21, with a time of 19:02 seconds, and third place was Peyton Joslyn, 14, with a time of 19:24 seconds.

The first woman to finish was 24-year-old Lara Matthias with a time of 21:13.

Will Philips, a Lions Club member who was competing in the race this year, said the event was started by Doc Porter as a fun race and picked up by the club in 1997. It was then that the event has really started to grow, and it now typically receives over 100 attendees each year. This year, despite the fog and light rain, 87 of the 118 registered participants made it to the start line.

Philips said planning a New Years Day race in New Hampshire and dealing with unpredictable weather conditions was never dull.

“We did it in the rain, we did it in a snowstorm, we did it when it was minus -10 degrees,” Philips said.

Among the runners was Craig Romano, who ran with several generations of family members in what has become an annual holiday tradition. Romano lives across the country in Washington, but returns every year to spend the holidays with his family in Windham. He and various members of his family have run Chip Chase since 2004. This year his son, aged 7, was one of the youngest participants and his mother, at 82, the oldest.

Romano said his family had no connection with Temple other than annual participation in the race, but said after trying several different 5k races on New Years Day, they preferred this one.

“We love the small town and love the course – it’s hilly. It’s a big small town tradition, ”said Romano.

Romano, who turned 60 this year, said he aimed to beat a time of 26 minutes, which he did, finishing first in his family with a time of 24:49.

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