Maple Fest Hosts 8K, 5K

BY CLAY SHAW
runnergah@comcast.net

MEYERSDALE, PA--The 2018 annual Maple Festival races were held on Saturday morning March 24, 2018. This year the races again began and finished at the Meyersdale Area High School. This is the original site for the Maple race that dates back to the early 1980s.

The race sites included the high school, the Meyersdale fairgrounds, the Salisbury Viaduct on the Allegheny Trail, and the old Meyersdale train station. The trail locations are currently unfit for racing after the heavy March snow storms.

This year the Maple races included the Maple 8K run and a 5K run and walk. The race course utilized roads around the school complex and old SR 219 into town plus side streets.

Dave Mapes from Mapes Timing and Finish Line Service was the race coordinator. Awards were presented to the top three male and female overall finishers in each race. Plus, the top finishers in the various age groups received Maple Festival awards. Refreshments were available after the race.

Twenty participants completed the 8K run and 27 runners finished the 5K run, while 12 walkers completed the 5K walk. Dave Mapes stated after the race that the 2018 finishing total was fifty less than 201.

Thirty-year-old veteran runner Pat Smith completed the 8K run in 27:30. Jonathan Makoczy, 26, placed second in 28:32. Veteran Meyersdale runner Tom Deakins, 51, was third in 33:19.

The first female 8K finisher was 28-year-old Brianna Walker in 39:46. Brianna Walker is the eldest daughter of Dave Mapes. Fifty-one-year-old Leanne Renzi was second in 39:59. Jane Rossi, 52, was third in 43:11.

Lisa Appleby, 57, was the overall and top female 5K walker in 39:10. Marty Ryba, 66, was the overall top male walker in 41:30.

Clear skies, dry roads, and chilly temperatures greeted the race participants at the 10am starting line. The Maple Festival races are part of the huge multi-week Meyersdale Maple Festival. The annual festival attracts huge crowds to the various weekend venues.