Beautiful Weather for 29th Somerset
Daily American Races

BY GEORGE A. HANCOCK

SOMERSET, PA--The 29th Somerset Daily American 10K and 5K races were held Saturday morning June 13. This year the races consisted of a 10K run, a 5K run, and a 5K walk. The 10K walk was eliminated due to traffic and safety concerns.

This well organized annual event begins and finishes at the Somerset High School athletic complex. Numerous volunteers assist with every facet of this popular race. Finding eager race volunteers is never a problem with this Somerset race. Every year the race committee selects several Somerset County nonprofit groups to split the race proceeds. The 2015 selected groups were the Special Olympics, the Sipesville Volunteer Fire Company, and the Somerset First Christian Church’s Weekend Backpack Program. These three groups would split the anticipated $50,000 in race proceeds.

The lone stipulation for these nonprofits is they must provide race volunteers to help everywhere. And, every year this is never an issue. A small army of volunteers work tirelessly insuring a successful race.

Race day dawned warm and humid beneath thick clouds. The starting-line temperature was 68 degrees. A strong breeze swept across the road course.

The race-day festivities began with a lap around the Somerset track by various military and fire company personnel. Then, the 10K runners were called to the start.

Mark Courtney and the crew from Runner’s High handled the timing and finish line. The three races were chip timed.

It was 33-year-old Somerset resident Levi Foust who won the 2015 Daily American 10K in 35:49. Foust is a familiar race day figure. Foust won the last three Daily American 5K races. Foust decided to run the 10K this year. A smart move since he easily outdistanced the race field.

Greg Opp, 25, from Somerset, placed second in 37:22. Opp was visibly upset as he crossed the finish line. Opp had won this 10K race the last three years. However, the morning humidity and Foust’s torrid pace relegated him to a distant second place finish.

Thirty-one-year-old Gabriel Foust, from Millersburg, PA, was third in 38:02. Dominic Mazzariello, 15, from Somerset, was fourth in 42:18. Fifth place was taken by 18-year-old Somerset resident Mike Emert in 42:23.

The top female 10K finisher was 38-year-old Jessica Riggs from Surry, VA in 43:50. Forty-six-year-old Somerset resident Lynn Singer was second in 47:24. Graycen Breckenridge, 15, from Rockwood, PA was third in 47:40. Julie Ostrich, 28, from Johnstown placed fourth in 47:40. Fifth place was taken by 38-year-old Carla Lytle in 48:16.

Eighteen-year-old Jared Hallow had the distinction of being the first runner to cross the Saturday morning finish line. Hallow from Gerrardstown, WV finished the 5K in 18:04. Randy Lisbon, 28, from Jennerstown, PA was second in 19:32. Eric Walker, 42, was third in 19:45. Fourteen-year-old Cejay Walker placed fourth in 20:24. Brian Bell, 38, was fifth in 20:35.

Sixteen-year-old Somerset resident Karen Dice was the overall top female 5K runner in 23:41. Lori Horning, 21, from Berlin was second in 24:10. Twenty-eight-year-old Ashley Hartman was third in 24:45. Kelly Kaltenbaugh, 27, placed fourth in 25:36. Jamie Emert, 22, was fifth in 25:39.

Forty-three-year-old Don Penrod from Somerset was the first male 5K walk finisher in 34:24. Melissa Reilly, 48, from Friedens, PA, was the first place female 5K walk finisher in 34:24.

There were 96 runners that completed the 10K road course and 247 runners finished the rolling 5K course. Finally, 433 walkers toured the companion 5K walk event.

Awards were presented to the top male and female finishers in each race. Also, the top three finishers in the various age-group categories received medals for their race-day efforts.

Cold beverages, fruit, cookies, and potato chips were available on numerous tables for the race day participants. The runners and walkers shared race stories while refueling for that next run.

The 2015 race committee will analyze the race, total the race proceeds, and plan for the historic June 2016 30th Daily American road race.