UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - After the Richmond men's and women's cross country teams joined forces for a charitable long run in October to support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, a number of Spider harriers continued the spirit of charity in their hometowns over Thanksgiving by participating in and providing contributions to road races held to raise awareness and funding for local nonprofit organizations.
Freshman Andrew Valenski returned home to Massapequa Park, N.Y., for the holiday where he joined 1,700 others in a 5K Turkey Trot benefiting the Long Island Chapter of the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Valenski won the event, which raised more than $25,000 for the organization. He took the lead from the start, covering the first mile in 4:36 as he pulled away for the victory with a time of 15:23.
"We've had a bunch of cancers in our family," said Valenski. "This is such an important cause. My legs felt really heavy, and I didn't go as fast as I wanted to, but it was fun and a great event."
The full article on the 5K Turkey Trot can be found here.
Fellow newcomer Billy Fayette headed home to the Chicagoland area and took part in the Ninth Annual Bonfield Express 5K benefiting the Jim Bonfield Foundation. The Downers Grove, Ill., race featured a record 5,100 participants and has grown each year since its inception. This year's race had nearly 1,000 more competitors than the year before.
Fayette grabbed an early lead in a race that featured many twists and turns through the suburban streets. He went on to win the event by 15 seconds with a time of 15:49.
Sophomore Adam Owens and freshman Paul Myer, who were prep teammates at Clarke County High School, returned home to Berryville, Va., for the 33rd running of the Berryville Turkey Trot. The event consisted of three races on a two-mile grass loop: a 2-mile (1 lap), 4-mile (2 laps) and 6-mile (3 laps).
Owens took the title in the 6-mile race in comfortable fashion with a time of 31:59, besting the second-place finisher by 1:03. Myer competed in the 4-mile race on the grass-looped course, capturing the title in 21:26 and 22 seconds ahead of the runner-up finisher.
"I wasn't sure how I would feel after taking a few days off following the cross country season," said Owens. "As Paul (Myer) and I went through the mile, it felt easy so I decided to start picking it up. The further I went, the better I felt."
The Berryville Turkey Trot results can be found here.
Freshman Matthew Groff competed among a field of 509 runners in the 39th Annual Millersville 5K Turkey Trot in Millersville, Pa., over the holiday break. The race was held to benefit the Water Street Rescue Mission. Groff placed crossed the tape in second place with a time of 15:28. New Balance and 8-time All-American Wisconsin Badger Craig Miller won the race in 14:59.
The results of the Millersville 5K Turkey Trot are available here.
Junior Kyle Ragan won his age group and finished fourth overall in the 22nd Annual Bucks County Roadrunners Thanksgiving Day 5-Miler in Langhorne, Pa. After leading the first 2.5 miles, Ragan was overtaken by a pack of three runners and would finish just behind the trio with a time of 27:46.
This annual event benefits Bethanna, a Christian organization whose mission is to provide the highest quality system of care for children and families in order to ensure safety, restore emotional wellness and build family stability. More information on Bethanna can be found here.
Visit here to view the results of the Bucks County Roadrunners Thanksgiving Day Run.
On the women's side, newcomer Alli Stapleton returned home to Long Island, where she competed in the Huntington Thanksgiving Day Run in Huntington, N.Y. Nearly 1,7500 runners took to the streets for the four-mile race to support the Huntington Townwide Fund.
Stapleton turned in a fourth-place finish in a time of 25:43. Her time was 44 seconds behind Kathleen Callahan's winning mark.
Contributions from the event help support 13 Huntington community agencies, including the American Red Cross (Huntington Chapter), YMCA, Family Service League, Girl Scouts and Helen Keller Services for the Blind.
The Huntington Townwide Fund Thanksgiving Day Run results can be found here.
Junior Dana Guglielmo participated in the Seventh Annual Moorestown Turkey Trot organized by the Moorestown High School cross country teams. The event, which is heavily attended by Quaker cross country alumni, supports both the boys and girls programs and is sponsored by the Moorestown Distance Running Club (MDRC). No official results were kept for this fun run.
More information on the race is available here.
To find out more about the community service initiatives undertaken and supported by the Spider cross country and track & field programs, please visit head men's coach Steve Taylor's blog.