Bucks 5K Series celebrates return to some normal greatness

Runners approach the finish line during a 5K race in Doylestown.
      Just the ability to run a race again without thinking too much about health conditions brought a smile to thousands of faces in the recently completed 2022 Bucks 5K Series.
      Not since 2019 had the popular slate of local races enjoyed such a somewhat carefree attitude.
      This year, with the pandemic not casting such a large shadow, the competition was back to what it was over what is now more than a quarter century of running with a purpose.
      Race director Dick Patterson might have been wearing the biggest smile of all. He’s had to deal with all sorts of issues over the past two years, from virtual forms of racing to cancellations.
      “That collective sigh of relief and joy you heard came from the Bucks 5K Series running community,’’ Patterson said.  “No more race cancellations and virtual races will bring that kind of reaction.  It was back to normal in 2022.’’
      With full fields, winning times in overall and age-group competitions improved.
      “The runners were rewarded for their hard work during the layover,’’ Patterson commented.  “The race results returned to 2019 levels.’’
      For the overall series, Stephanie Savastano defended the overall women’s title, which she shared with Katie Kinkead in 2021. Gert Freas took home the women’s masters age-graded title.
      On the men’s side, Alexander Izweski captured the men’s championship and Jim Ludovici took home masters honors.
      There were some eye-opening performances in age-graded competition. A pair of world-class triathletes – Todd Wiley of Pipersville and Nancy Smith of New Britain – led the way by putting together national class age-graded percentages, with Wiley checking in with a 17:07, good for 87 percent. Smith finished with an equally brilliant 86 percent.
      Other 80 percenters were Amy Bignault, Bob Boland and Hillary Goodman.
      Congratulations to Patterson and his staff, along with all the volunteers, sponsors and runners for a getting the Bucks 5K Series back on track.
      >Martin drawing national attention
      Gary Martin is no longer just a household name in the tri-state area. The Archbishop Wood High School mile record-breaker is one of the front-page stories in the latest edition of Track and Field News.
      The magazine recently published its top 10 list of alltime high school milers and Martin’s 3:57.89 and 3:57.98 times now stand seventh and eighth on that chart of incredible performances.
      Martin is just a few seconds off Alan Webb’s No. 1 clocking of 3:53 and only a couple off that of Jim Ryun (3:55), one of the greatest milers in track history.
      The sky’s the limit for this young man. Just a reminder he will be attending (and possibly running) in the Bucks County Mile, scheduled for this Sunday at Council Rock North High School.
      >Revolution Run set for return
      Speaking of reminders, just a quick heads-up to those who are thinking about running in the 40th annual Revolutionary Run (10K/5K) on July 4.
      Online registration is available at www.revrun.org. The classic pair of races will make a return after two years off due to the pandemic and hundreds of runners are expected to compete.
      Race calendar
      Bucks County Mile, 9:30 a.m., Council Rock North High School, Newtown. Contact www.buckscountymile.com
      Monday, July 4
      40th annual Revolutionary Run 10K/5K/1-mile, 8 a.m., Washington Crossing Historic Park. Contact www.revrun.org
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About Wayne Fish 2418 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.