Thursday, October 8, 2015


Local races are h backbone of road racing.

Local races are often well-organized and usually benefit local causes.

Following is an article that was published today in my monthly running column in the Republican Herald newspaper. www.republicanherald,com

If you live in eastern Pennsylvania I highly recommend this popular local race.

October is a great month for runners and for running.

Temperatures are crisp, races abound and times are fast.

Runners appreciate races that are well-organized, offer plenty of awards and amenities, serve a good cause and provide a course that is suitable for fast times.

All of those boxes can be checked Sunday, Oct. 18.

The 6th annual Rhoades Race 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will be held, beginning at the Saint Clair Industrial Park, between Saint Clair and Port Carbon. The Fun Run will begin at 10 a.m. and the 5K will start at 10:30 a.m.

This course is flat and fast. The race starts at the Industrial Park and proceeds north through Saint Clair, looping through the borough, and back to the finish. Unlike most Schuylkill County courses, there is not a hill to be found along the route.

For the Fun Run, all participants receive a finishing ribbon, and the top three male and female runners under the age of 13 will receive medals.

In the 5K, the top three male and female finishers, as well as the top male and female Master’s finishers (40 and over) will receive cash prizes. Unique handcrafted pottery created by local potter Mary Byrne of Mad Potter in Pottsville will be awarded to first-place winners in each age group. Second- and third-place finishers will receive medals. There are 12 age divisions, ranging from 13 and under to over 70.

The oldest finisher will receive the William I. Messerschmidt Memorial Award.
Proceeds from this event will be used to promote the Rhoades Foundation mission through scholarships, donations, events and other means, to educate, encourage and enrich our local communities.

The James J. and Mary Edith Rhoades Foundation was founded in October 2008 in memory of Senator James J. Rhoades, who was unexpectedly killed in an automobile accident on his way to a local high school football game where he was to be honored at halftime. Senator Rhoades’ wife, Mary Edith, and children chose to establish this foundation to carry on Senator Rhoades’ selfless spirit, highlighting his lifelong dedication toward education, giving and community for years to come.

The family of Senator Rhoades has continued his legacy of service through this race, as well as through many other community events.

The Rhoades Race is the final leg of the second annual Schuylkill County Triple Crown 5K series.
In August, the Sol Lipton and Truskey 5K events were held.

What binds these local races together is the family spirit of giving that all three events exhibit. The Lipton, Truskey and Rhoades families all donate their time in order to ensure success of these races; then they utilize race profits to offer scholarships to deserving youth of the region.

Two top local runners, former Blue Mountain standout Justin O’Brien and state champion and Nativity graduate, Samantha Snukis, are poised to capture the Triple Crown honors for the second consecutive year.

It is difficult for any athlete, in any sport, to repeat as a champion, so their efforts are to be commended.

The Rhoades Race is a family event that has quickly become a favorite race for runners of all ages.

For a race entry blank, and to learn more about the James J. and Mary Edith Rhoades Foundation, visit, and click on the 'Upcoming Events' tab.

                                          Samantha Snukis-2014 5K Triple Crown WInner

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