New races attract fans before Flannery's Pub Run

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The participants in the first Flannery’s Pub Run 5K looked fresh starting out. They ended the race spaced out and not always sprinting.

While 190 avid runners turned out for the third annual Flannery's Pub Run half-marathon Saturday, two other races brought in additional  categories of athletes. The events were presented by Greencastle Flyers to raise money for G-A MAAX and Fix JB Sports. A kids run was added last year, and a 5K this year.

The number of children in the one mile run doubled to 100.

Dylan Green, 9, enjoyed the race and said he finished toward the front of the pack.

"I was a little tired at the end."

Claire Newton, 8, wore an Anna and Elsa T-shirt, rather than the orange one distributed to all the young runners.

"I didn't run the whole way because I like to walk a little," she said.

Stephanie Borland, Hagerstown, Md., crossed the finish line way ahead of her competitors in the 5K, with a time of 18:37. On her trail were 63 more runners.

Committee member Devin McCauley laid out the rules before that start on East Madison Street. Since chip timers were used, it was important for everyone to cross the starting line, a blue mat covering electronic cables. A bicyclist would lead the way through the northeast section of town and roads would not be shut down, so they should be mindful of their surroundings and run with the traffic.

Friends and family ran together. Some competitors wore earbuds, with the music pacing their steps.

Travis and Holly Blubaugh, with son Dalton, 9, started out together, but didn't expect it to last.

Travis said he was coming off a serious calf injury, and he had offered to sacrifice speed if first-timer Dalton ever needed to walk. Those factors should be weighed against his finish time, the elder reasoned.

Holly was going to take off on her own, since she ran four or five days a week any way. She liked the beneficiaries of the event, programs enhancing opportunities in the Greencastle and Mercersburg school districts.

"I usually avoid 5Ks," she admitted. "I don't like the pressure."

Jody and Dave Ebbitt insisted they were not naturally runners.

"Oh, no," they said. "We are out to support the cause."

The finishers were all greeted with a medal and snacks. Two Chambersburg women felt good about their effort, but were tired.

"It was a little hillier than I was expecting," said Laura Carbaugh.

"A lot hillier!" declared Rose Pensinger.

Both were experienced 5K runners but Flannery's gave the course a twist. It sent them through Moss Spring Estates.

"There was a whopper in there that went on forever," Carbaugh said.

The 13.1 mile run, which started in Mercersburg, accomplished its goal to draw people from all over. Lester Martin, 74, came in from San Francisco. He and his sister Verna Council, Roanoke, Va., returned to Greencastle, where they had attended high school for a short time. They had lived in the Mason Dixon area.

Council thought the town had not changed much, and "certainly" they were going to the Craft Beer Festival in the afternoon, sponsored by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.

McCauley was pleased with the day.

"We scheduled great weather and had an awesome turnout. We are happy how well received we are in the community."

And he credited the 200 volunteers who helped make the three runs a success.