Some 160 runners participated in Saturday’s fourth annual Macoby 5 mile, 5K and Kids Fun Run benefitting the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library. The event was the final running event this year in the valley.
Rows of people at the starting line, wearing bright athletic gear, jumped up and down and did last minute stretches as the first raindrops began to fall.
Despite the surprise early drizzle and the brisk morning chill, about 160 runners participated in Saturday’s fourth annual Macoby Run 5 mile, 5K and Kids Fun Run, benefitting the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library.
This year the 5-mile and 5K races drew not only local participants, but some from outside the community and even out of state. Ian and Cheryl Clark, a husband and wife running duo from Tuckahoe, New York, finished first and second respectively in the 5-mile race with times of 30:45 and 32:04.
“We saw it online and hadn’t done a race in a while, and were coming down visiting her family, and thought let’s do it,” Ian Clark said.
This was the couple’s first 5 mile race, he added. Both agreed it felt good having finished it.
The longer course seemed to be the first 5-mile race for many participants. One such runner, Kristin Reed, an Upper Perkiomen High School graduate and University of Maryland track and field alum, said she didn’t have too much trouble with the course.
“I don’t run much any more, but it wasn’t bad,” she said. “The beginning was hilly, but the end was all flat.”
Reed, who got her start in track and field in high school, received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Maryland. Now, however, she only gets to run about once a week due to her work schedule, so it was “just nice to get out,” she said.
She also participated in her first Macoby run this year because of her grandmother, she added.
“My grandmother said it was the last year she wanted to walk in it, so I had to do it,” she said, smiling.
Other runners had a variety of reasons for participating.
Billy Christman, of Pennsburg, said his reasons are simple: exercise, competition and socialization.
“The people are so friendly. I look forward to coming to see some of my friends,” said Christman, who has run in everything from local 5Ks to the Philadelphia and Boston Marathons.
Like Christman, many runners come to races for the camaraderie, participating in multiple local races. The Upper Perkiomen Valley is home to several races that are popular draws for local runners.
The Deep Creek Run, held in Green Lane Park in August, is a 5K that benefits the Upper Perkiomen Senior Center. The YMCA also holds a 5K in May, and the PerkUp Half Marathon, held every August, raises money for the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation.
The beneficiary of the Macoby Run race; however, changes every year.
Doris Hettrick, creator and one of the organizers of the race, said she came up with the idea for it five years ago. In its first year, the run benefitted the family of Deb Morrow Hornberger, a Massachusetts woman originally from Barto who was killed with her unborn son in a car accident.
Hettrick continued the race the following year, with the proceeds going to the Upper Perkiomen Sports Boosters. In its third year, the race benefitted Relay for Life.
“We want to run it every year, but change the sponsor every time,” she explained. “And we want to keep that local.”
Organizers are still looking for a beneficiary for next year.
This year’s choice, the library, proved a popular one.
“I was delighted to run and give to one of my favorite charities – the library,” Mike Tannous said between heavy breaths immediately after finishing the race. “It’s a treasure in our community.”
Tannous, who is the executive director of the Upper Perkiomen YMCA and an avid local runner, said for him, the reason to run is an obvious one, regardless of the cause.
“I run because I love competing in races that raise money for good causes,” Tannous said. “That’s my thing.”