Windber Returns

BY GEORGE A. HANCOCK

WINDBER, PA—Some current road-race trends are troubling. Those escalating entry fees take a huge bite from our budgets. Multiple road races in the same neighborhood are dangerous and tax local governments. Some road races forego timing services to cut expenses. Runners receive their finishing time as they cross the line but those times and places are never recorded. One current trend is a nice addition to our road-race circuit.

The return of popular road races on their original course is a pleasant trend. Windber’s 5-mile Whalley run has returned to the local race schedule. The 5-mile road race is now part of the four day Eureka Coal Heritage Foundation’s Miners Memorial Day Festival. This Windber Festival is now in its 16th year.

The Whalley 5-mile run and companion 2.5 mile sprint were held Saturday morning June 20. Partly cloudy skies greeted the Whalley race field. The starting-line temperature was 67 degrees. The morning was warm and humid. A slight breeze did little to ease the morning mugginess.

Local bank manager Scott Malisko was now directing the Whalley race. The Windber Community Building again served as the focal registration point for the race. The 5-mile course retained the original configuration across Windber. A new 2.5 race was added to entice novice runners to the starting line.

Tim and Roxanne Mapes from Mapes Timing Service manned the finish line. A small army of volunteers including fire, police and Windber Recreation Authority personnel were staged along the race course insuring the race participants’ safe passage.

Thirty-two-year-old Windber resident Connor Mulcahy won the 2015 race in 30:45. The first female finisher was Angie Beahr, 20, from Windber. Beahr crossed the finish line in 43:04.

Thirty-six-year-old Ron Mash won the inaugural 2.5 mile run in 23:36. The first female finisher was 13-year-old Kaitlynn Saucedo in 29:28.

Awards were presented to the top male and female finishers in both races. The top three age-group winners were awarded medals for their race day efforts.

Water, fruit, and bagels were available at the finish for the Whalley participants. And, numerous Festival food and beverage booths were located just yards away from the finish line.

There were 31 runners that completed the 5-mile run. And, 15 runners finished the first 2.5 event. Scott Malisko and the Whalley race committee were pleased with the 2015 race. Malisko indicated after the race that the Whalley run would return in 2016 again affiliated with the Windber Miner’s Day Festival.