Saturday, September 19, 2009 -- Scottdale, PA
Scottdale Fall Festival 10K Run . 5K Run/Walk
Community Event Sends a Message
Article and photos by Theresa Svoboda
The Scottdale 5/10k Community Run rolled out on Saturday with lovely fall weather on Saturday, September 19th.
Scottdale always sees a nice turnout for their race; multi-generational runners showed along with some special events this year that add to the meaning of community.
Well represented by a team of runners, "Team Hicks" had quite a representation for their cause. Special Agent, Samual Hick's was killed in November while serving a narcotics search warrant in Pittsburgh, PA on November 19th, 2008. Scottdale attendees shared their wealth by running in his honor and by purchasing tickets for a Chinese auction, the grand prize being Steeler tickets, to honor the fallen agents favorite team. Go to www.samhicks.org to see if you had a lucky ticket and contribute to his Memorial, funding his 3 year old's future.
It was bittersweet spectating as one local man was being honored; another was being celebrated for surviving. Art Zottola spent months in therapy, recovering from double bypass surgery to correct defects in his heart. Art not only finished the race, but came in second in his age group.
Minday Sawtelle, an 8 time All-American runner, won first place in the women's 10k and set a course record of 41 minutes, 21 seconds.
Pittsburgh runner, Matthew Bright, made headlines for the 10k race, garnering a course record this year with a time of 36:03. It was quite a finish, with his toughest competition on his heels the whole race, runner Brian Paff. Paff executed quite an effort in the last mile of the race and got the silver for his finish just 11 seconds later.
Just a few strides behind the leaders, a third place win was had by Brad Herrington in 36:48.
Robert Smith led the 5k winners, clocking 17:40 for first place. Ten seconds later, Eric Rankin pulled in a second place win. Joe Burhals won third for the shorter race, with a time of 18:50.
Course walking records were set this year, with power walker Kim Bennett in first at 32:18. Congratulations to all the winners.
A great effort was shown this year in Scottdale. Everyone would agree that community events like these can sometimes pack a warm message that sticks with you when race efforts have long disappeared. Whether honoring a hero, overcoming personal issues like cancer or disease, or promoting a fit community, a great effort was shown, indeed.