BCRR Winter Series awards a wide-open competition

Jamie Gray runs in a Bucks County Roadrunners Club’s Winter Series race at Tyler State Park.

      The chase for the Bucks County Roadrunners Club Winter Series men’s and women’s titles is usually a two-person race.

      This past 2023-24 season, the competition has been a lot more wide-open than that.

      No less than a half-dozen men and at least three or four women excelled during the 11-race competition at Tyler State Park in Newtown-Richboro.

      On the men’s side, Logan Brady, Alex Carideo, Ethan Frank, Jamie Gray, Dylan Marton and Andreas Quattrocchi recorded at least one victory. In addition, Nick Accardo, Vitaly Belotserkovsky and Patrick Donadio also had strong weekly performances.

      Among the women, there were three multiple-race winners: Morgan Leh, Isha Awasthi and Brittany Debord. Others in contention were Lori Wade, Natacha Smith and Bronwyn Bird.

      As for the winners, BCRR prefers to keep that a surprise until the Series presents its awards in a couple months.

      Overall, the Series has been running since 1978 and the fields continue to remain at encouragingly high levels. Some competitions draw in the 300 range. There were only two snow events to speak of and neither caused any real problems.

      Rain was an occasional factor. The courses of a few races had to be modified when the water level of Neshaminy Creek became too high and restricted access to certain segments of the park.

      Series director John O’Brien heard few complaints. The post-race food spread was as popular as ever and chip timing makes for quick race results.

      “The park did a really good job of cleaning up things like the snow,” said O’Brien in a phone conversation. “There were no cancellations. Everything went well.”

      There were about 400 overall runners who took part in this past season’s races and the total combined fields exceeded 2,000.

      While some changes and concessions were made because of the pandemic, everything is pretty much back to normal now, although some precautions are still in place.

      The great thing about the Winter Series is the way it makes local race competition available during the “down” months. And it’s an excellent way to get ready for the spring, summer and fall racing seasons.

      “I believe it’s the longest-running club of its kind in this area,” O’Brien said. “We continue to grow our membership.”

      The Winter Series awards will be presented at an upcoming ceremony, although the date and location have yet to be officially announced. The ceremony was moved outdoors recently and probably will continue that way for the foreseeable future. The date most likely will be sometime in early May.

      The future of the Series is bright.

      “We get people who come out and it’s like their first run for some of these races,” O’Brien said. “Like New Year’s, you get a lot of people who are running their first 5K.

      “And it’s great for getting outdoors. There might be a tendency to stay inside and not do anything. It’s a reason to get out. This series has been going through the cold, the rain, the snow and we continue to get a good showing. Even on the rainy days we had over 200.”

      A number of runners have been participating in the Series for decades and they come out in all kinds of challenging conditions. That’s a testament to how popular it is.

      “It always surprises me,” O’Brien said. “It can be a real rainy day and I’m standing around expecting there to be next to nobody and the parking lot just fills up.”

      >Age is just a number

      Runners often wonder if their favorite form of exercise is not only adding quality but years to their lives.

      Well, while it’s only one example, the following bit of information might serve as inspiration to conduct your own experiment of one:

      Julia Hawkins, the oldest person to ever compete in a sanctioned track and field event at age 105, has just celebrated her 108th birthday.

      When that particular bit of information was posted on social media, it produced over 900 million impressions world-wide.

      In 2019, she won gold medals in the 50-meter and 100-meter competitions at the National Senior Games in New Mexico at age 103.

      “Don’t fall, don’t gain weight,” was her advice after those victories. When she was asked what she would say to people who claim life isn’t worth living after 100, she responded: “Oh, it is. It’s wonderful. I’ve just had a good time. I have hearing aids. . .but there’s something out there for every problem you have. The doctors can keep you healthy, thank goodness.”

      >Race calendar

      Saturday, March 16

      Shamrock Shuffle 5K, 9 a.m., Newtown. Contact www.runsignup.com

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About Wayne Fish 2472 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.