Sunday, May 2, 2010

by Mike Casper

Predictions of thunderstorms and temperatures in the eighties surely kept some non-adventurous folk close to home, but a number of riders, walkers and runners came out to celebrate and support the Rock Hill School, a local historic landmark that this event's proceeds are helping to restore.

Through mid-afternoon, the weather held to only a periodic drizzle and temps only made it to the low seventies. Still, the air was thick and the road surface wet.

Talk of the scenic 5-mile loop - no, no one calls it "gently rolling" - was standard fare, as these roads are legendary for runners and cyclists. But the added treat was a 28-mile ride with rest stop at Penns Cave that gave local cyclists a little more pedal time. The 5-mile ride was kept as a favorite recreational/family option. Volunteers conducting tours at the school also rang the bell as loop event participants stepped or pedaled by.

Nine riders went for the long ride. Marty King, 49, of Centre Hall, covered the route in 1:50, followed by Mark Higgins, 47, and Sean Ion, 29.

Seventeen riders, old and young, rode the loop. Judy Weaver, of Linden Hall, completed the ride first - though this was not a race. Stan Smith rode his tandem with local hen, Smitty, as copilot, and finished close behind. Noteworthy were several younger riders, who covered the challenging hills valiantly. I heard one say "I'm last," but noted that most, if not all of her classmates didn't have the moxie show up!

Eleven runners took on the certified 5-miler. Patrick Singletary, 44, of State College, breezed to victory in 29:49, followed by Costas Maranas and Tom Cali. The ladies' title went to Laura Shaffer, 38, of State College, in 37:31.

And many walkers covered the rolling loop. First among these to finish was Gretchen Fetterolf, who completed the route in just 1:05.

A boatload of unique prizes went to overall and age-group winners. Besides the standard refreshments of water and fresh fruit, 96 grilled hotdogs with all the trimmings were served up, with donations supporting the school.

A record number of visitors checked out the 1893 one-room schoolhouse on the other end of the loop, which was the site of early education for area residents until 1937. The teachers during that time included Fred Waring's great-grandfather.

Enthusiastic thanks are due to Jerry Steffy for providing timing services, and to the Linden Hall Garden Club for delectable cookies that were served at the school. The diligent work of the local planning committee made the event go very smoothly.

Next year's event date has already been set for the traditional first Sunday in May - May 1, 2011.


Stan Smith and Smitty got things rolling on the Long Ride.

Long Ride bikers get ready to start.

Mark Higgins took second place in the ride.

Pat Singletary won the 5 Mile race.

Costas Maranas finishes second.

Gretchen Fetterolf walks pretty fast!

Place  Name                Sex  Age    Time
-----  ----                ---  ---    ----
 1     Patrick Singletary   M    44    29:49
 2     Costas Maranas       M    42    31:24
 3     Tom Cali             M    55    33:10
 4     Laura Shaffer        F    38    37:31
 5     Cory Neff            M    22    38:40
 6     Robert Boozer        M    55    39:48
 7     Sandy Gabel          F    45    45:21
 8     Steve Donnelly       M    43    47:42
 9     Michele Hutnick      F    44    51:44
10     Dawn Comly           F    46    56:19
11     Arnold Gasche        M    80  1:03:55