Inaugural Bobcat 5K Trail Run and Fun Run Held Saturday, August, 2nd (08/07/13)

On a beautiful Saturday morning (August 2nd), at the newly configured cross country course at Clarion County Park, the Inaugural Bobcat 5K Trail Run and Fun Run were held.  The day started with the Fun Run, which included participants ranging in age from elementary students to older adults. And then the 5K Trail Run which included many Junior High and High School students and adults.

Start of the 5K

Start of the 5K

This new course and the race, is the result of much hard work by the Cross Country Team, coaches, Clarion County Commissioners, parents and other individuals around the community.

CHS Cross Country Coach Keith Murtha said, “This course has been around for a while. We actually hosted Districts here, when D. J. Bevevino was the District Nine chairman. The course hasn’t been used in a number of years, but Bill Grove (former CHS Coach), myself, the Commissioners wanted to bring the County Park back and get some people out here.

“We wanted to get some elementary kids out here, to build this program back up. So we decided we wanted to have a race out here. With the PTO and the County, we decided we were going to reopen this course and start this as a way to get the community involved and really reopen our course.”

Coach Murtha described some of the work that went in to making the course. “We’ve been out here looking at some options and this is the course that we and Nancy Mills (PTO President, overseer and Race Coordinator) and a lot of volunteers have helped us put together.

“We’re very happy with it. We’re hoping to get some permanent markings on it, so that as a team and a community we can really start to use these great resources that we have out here. We’ve had some good reviews on it and we will continue to work on it.

“We made some changes on it, making it community friendly for this race and then we wanted to make it similar to the District course out in Ridgway, so that we have some good preparation going into that.”

As for the race itself, John Danvers, a Junior, from Franklin, was the overall winner. On how it feels to be the first person to cross the finish line in this brand new race, he said, “It feels pretty nice. It was was a good feeling. I like the course a lot, so to run here was a good feeling.”

John mentioned a challenging part of the course, “Out in the middle there were a couple of hills that were a little challenging, especially on the second lap…”

The first CHS finisher, Liam Raehsler said, “I thought it was really nice. For a cross country course, it was really good. There were a lot of hills though. Other than that it was really good.”

On how it felt to be the first Bobcat ever to cross the finish line, Liam said, “It was really nice. It felt like, pretty historic, I guess, now that I think about it. I wasn’t thinking about it before. It feels good.”

Liam sent along his congratulations to the participants, saying, “Congratulations to all the finishers and good job, everybody.”

Liam Raeshler and Hannah Frakes

Liam Raeshler and Hannah Frakes

Hannah Frakes, the first CHS girl to finish the race, said, “The course was really nice and they put it together really well. It was a bit hilly, but I think it was a good mix of terrain. And we had a really lovely day for the race.

“It had been a while since I did a race, so I was really happy with my time and I think everyone from Clarion did a really good job and put in a really great effort, especially putting the course together in the first place.”

Hannah had this to say to the parents, “Thank you to all the parents for organizing everything on race day.”

Coach Murtha expressed his appreciation to those in the community who helped to make the race and the course successful, the local businesses, such as Clarion Fruit and Eat’n Park, that donated food and other things, Dave Estadt for his great work on the logos and T-shirts, and others.

He also singled out the hard work of Nancy Mills, mentioning that she “did a tremendous job in organizing and really getting things together for the race. Many of the little moving parts, she did a really good job with.”

Coach Murtha also mentioned the Bettwy family’s help including Mark, who spent much time in mapping out the course and the Frakes family for their help and for sponsoring the T-Shirts. He went on to say that, “Many of our families have spent a lot of time. We’re thankful for their support.”

The Bobcats will run their Senior meet against Moniteau on the course on October 8th.

The proceeds from the Trail Run and Fun Run go to the Clarion Area Cross Country Team, getting the booster club started, invitational fees, equipment, clothing etc.

Congratulations to the Cross Country Team on this great kick off to the new season and to all those involved in making the event a great success!!!