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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2009 ACS Run for Dad Race Report

On Sunday, a handful of us trail runners took it to the pavement to participate in the American Cancer Society's Run for Dad 5k, at Mercer County Park. It's goal is to raise awareness about prostate cancer and money to support cancer research projects. The event, offering a 5k run, 2 mile walk, and kids runs suitable for all ages, provides a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to get out there and do something fun and healthy to celebrate Father's Day.

The rain was falling lightly during race registration so I ducked under one of the tents to pin my bib on my shirt. As I stood there next to a small crowd that gathered to seek the same protection from the elements that brought me there a man commented on the shirt I was wearing asking me what that race was like - I was wearing my Turkey Swamp Race Day shirt. We started to talk about it and it's varying distances when I learned that his daughter, who was there with him to run the 5k that day, had signed the both of them up for the 10 miler at Turkey Swamp. I think maybe she hadn't given him all the information on that race yet though because he seemed as surprised as I was to learn that he was signed up for it. We continued to talk and I learned that his daughter had set herself a goal of running the Phili 1/2 and that her father, in a fit of insobriety at a family picnic last year had promised to train with his daughter and complete the races she signed up for. So, here he was, up early on Father's Day huddled under a tent with his family and some strangers getting ready to take to the line and run a 5k.

These are the kind of stories you can get at this race but this story didn't end there as I though it had. It wasn't until after I had finished the race before I got the rest of this story. As I usually do, I was walking back away from the finish line to cheer on the other runners as they came down the last quarter mile towards the finish. After having seen the last of our trail runners pass I turned it back around and started to jog lightly back to the finish to congratulate everyone and watch the kids races. As I did, I looked to my left and saw the man from the tent coming up along side me. He was finishing up his race and looked ever so happy to be doing so. I did my best to motivate him on and he seemed pleased to have someone to talk to. I told him he was doing great and asked him what it was that was bringing him out there. I knew about the fact that he got drunk and promised he would but honestly, we've all gotten drunk and promised things right? There was something else driving this guy. He told me that he had just turned sixty and had given up smoking and drinking and was hoping to start taking better care of himself so he could "stick around" for a while. I explained that if he was really making that decision for himself, and was committed to the life change, that I had no doubt he could do it. I wished him the best of luck and then jogged off to meet up with the gang. During the awards ceremony, I saw his daughter get called up and accept an age group award. The look on the man's face when his daughter accepted the award was priceless. Drunken again, although this time with pride, I just hope he didn't make any more promises when she came back and hugged him.

As for the group, some major kudos has to go to Jess and Sue for winning age group awards. Everyone from the group put in spectacular efforts and should get awards just for coming out to run on what was a miserable day weather-wise.

Here are the results for those that came out:

Place Runner City,State Age Sx Time Pace Gender Place AG Place

56.Bill Scannon Mercerville,NJ 42 M 22:03 7:06 51/323 M40-44:7/45

59.Bill Yorke Hamilton,NJ 34 M 22:13 7:09 53/323 M30-34:7/29

82.Susan Juronics Heightstown,NJ 61 F 22:56 7:23 7/143 F60-64:1/4

136.Phillip Cuilla Cream Ridge,NJ 45 M 25:06 8:05 118/323 M45-49:16/40

164.Jessica Bomm Hamilton,NJ 32 F 25:59 8:22 21/143 F30-34:3/12

323.Linda Cuilla Cream Ridge,NJ 44 F 31:05 10:00 75/143 F40-44:6/15

Complete results can be seen here.

Here's a pic of the gang post-race:

L to R: Jess (with husband and son), Linda, Butch, Bill Y., and Bill S. (with son)


  1. It was a good time, in spite of the rain.

  2. What a touching story and a nice race recap Bill! Thanks for sharing that.