Gavin Hoover Competes In America’s Fastest Road Race Alongside The Sport’s Elite!

(All images submitted) Above: Gavin with Coach Murtha 

(By Clarion Cross Country Coach Keith Murtha)

Great night at the Liberty Mile races in market square in downtown Pittsburgh, on Friday, July 23rd.

The Liberty Mile consists of a number of heats of the mile of a closed road course, they a “Pup Trot” for dogs and their owners, “One for Fun” for recreation runners, “Kids of steel” for kids six to fourteen, Masters for athletes over the age of thirty-nine, a corporate challenge, the “Unstoppable” Heat and the Men’s and Women’s Pro Races.

Runners Lined Up

Gavin Hoover was in the “Unstoppable” Heat sub 6 min mile qualifier and ran a great race at 5:07 after starting in the back of the starting box and getting somewhat boxed in! The winner, Ethan Hermann ran 4:16 and several others ran sub 5 minutes, including the top 5 high school boys. 

Gavin ran into a friend from the Bobcat 5K, from Oil City High School who went on to run at Penn State. This is part of the fun of these events, running into old friends and making new ones.

Following Gavin’s race were the Elites or Pros several fresh off the Olympic trials! 

First up were the women. Sinclair Johnson, from the Famous Bowerman Track Club set a new course record in 4:24 and we ran into her several times throughout the night!

Sinclair Johnson breaking the tape with a new course record.

On the men’s side they ran sub 4 at 3:58 missing a course record by fractions of a second! In a very tight race up and comer, Vincent Ciattei, took the win over crowd favorite and well known Craig Engels in a very tight race. We got to watch and interact with these athletes from literally ten feet away!

Vincent Ciattei breaks the tape just ahead of Craig Engels.

This event is run by P3R best known for the Pittsburgh Marathon. They also have several other races and events through the year including the Kids of Steel programming which our Track Club and middle school age students can and do participate in.

This is a great event and Gavin and I highly recommend it. We will be back next year, and hope to take a whole group from Clarion County!

Finish Line

If you are now feeling inspired, the Clarion Area Cross Country Boosters are hosting a trail run/walk 5K and kids half mile this Saturday, August 7th at 9 AM! Registration is still open online at and will remain open until 10 pm Friday night. Saturday morning on site registration will open at 7:45 AM at Clarion County Park.

No Pavement, No Traffic, LOTS OF FUN is this year’s theme!

(Thanks to Coach Murtha for this article and photos. Congratulations, Gavin!!!!)