Ol’ Man Winter was once again a formidable foe but, as usual, the Bucks County Roadrunners Winter Series found a way to prevail.
Weather conditions threw everything they had at the popular 11-race schedule in Tyler State Park yet a few thousand area runners found a way to handle the conditions.
Thanks to race director John O’Brien and a hearty bunch of volunteers, things went fairly smoothly, even though several races had to be converted to non-timed events.
“It all seemed normal when we started,’’ O’Brien noted in his Series roundup. “We should have known it would at least be a little interesting when we were greeted with several inches of snow (in mid-December) and had to make the Covered Bridge an informal.
“We still had snow on the ground but the Jingle Bell race was our first timed race. Who would have thought a snowy run in the low 30s would be our best weather for a while.’’
It just kept getting tougher from there.
“New Year’s Day we were greeted with brutal cold and a still partially snow-covered course and this was our first race with no indoor plumbing due to a leak in Tyler Park’s waterline,’’ O’Brien said.
“The Tyler Challenge was much more than a challenge, extreme cold forced us to make this race an informal; it was sub-zero when we got there and never got into double digits, but we endured and the hot chocolate was much needed at the finish.’’
But by February, the weather had eased up a bit, much to the runners’ relief.
“All in all we pulled it off,’’ O’Brien said. “We had to make three races informal, three more had modified courses and two had no indoor plumbing but we got out and ran all 11 weeks.’’
Former Winter Series director Michael Gross says the Series is in good hands.
“After having almost perfect weather last year this season was a challenge for the new Winter Series director,’’ Gross said. “I am thankful that our new director was experienced and could handle all the challenges this winter threw at us.
“Knowing it was our 40th season, John did an amazing job balancing the traditions our club cherishes with changing to the current times to keep our club relevant with the new younger runners of today. The BCRR Winter Series is the healthiest it has been due to this balancing act.’’
Shawn McElhaugh won the men’s overall title and Justyna Wilson took the women’s crown. They along with age-group medalists, picked up their awards at a big St. Patty’s Day bash last Saturday night.
Here are the final standings from the 40th BCRR Winter Series:
Overall: Shawn McElhaugh.
13 and under: 1. Jackson McElhaugh, 2. Ryan Tarapchak, 3. Matthew Pantalone.
14-19: 1. Nick Accardo, 2. Leo Wang, 3. Bill Wang.
20-29: 1. Dave Pannepacker, 2. Bryan Obarowski, 3. Brian Mallon.
30-34: 1. Jason Devine, 2. Joe Holton, 3. Sam Cler.
35-39: 1. Ethan Frank, 2. Nicholas Hance, 3. Daniel Kiley.
40-44: 1. Michael Karl, 2. Kevin McKale, 3. Mike McElhaugh.
45-49: 1. Chuck Thompson, 2. Patrick Donadio, 3. Roland Pott.
50-54: 1. Bruce Lewis, 2. Thomas Beerbower, 3. Peter Lederer.
55-59: 1. Joe Haughey, 2. Christoph Stannik, 3. Daniel Doolan.
60-64: 1. Rick Mingione, 2. David Broad, 3. Fred Gropper.
65-69: 1. Philip Davies, 2. Ed Hawkey, 3. Robert Esterly.
70-74: 1. Lou Putnam, 2. George Ashmore, 3. Skip Schanbacker.
75-79: 1. Lou Coppens.
Overall: Justyna Wilson.
19 and under: 1. Emily Peifer, 2. Holly Pantalone, 3. (tie) Olivia Montini, Megan Schaal.
20-29: 1. Jackie Lewis, 2. Colleen Greevy, 3. Nikita Poland.
30-34: 1. Sara Dennis, 2. Kristi Goodwin, 3. Jane Hall.
35-39: 1. Heidi Neuhauser, 2. Jennifer Brick, 3. Rachelle Kosoff.
40-44: 1. Lisa Schmitter, 2. Judy Hirt, 3. (tie) Aimee Belgard, Christine Hancock.
45-49: 1. Zeffi Angelikas, 2. Christine Rannie, 3. Anne-Kathryn Bromm.
50-54: 1. Lisa Kuliczkowski, 2. Renee Harnishfeger, 3. Lisa Antenucci.
55-59: 1. Gert Freas, 2. Patricia Butcher, 3. Ann Krisher.
60-64: 1. Lynn Lubbe, 2. Paula Coyle, 3. Valerie Maugle.
65-69: 1. Emily Grace, 2. Sharon Schanbacker.
Ryan Strong 5K, Fairless Hills. Contact www.runningintheusa.com
Sunday, May 20
20th annual Kiwanis-Sesame Place Classic 5K, 7 a.m., Middletown Township. Contact www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com