More than 1,200 sign up for Buffalo Creek Half Marathon
On Saturday, Peg Lutz plans to take her spot at the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon starting line with people more than 50 years her junior.
At age 84, this will be the fifth time she's competed in the race since its inception in 2006.
“The scenery is fantastic, and having the limestone to run on, it's much easier on your legs,” said Lutz, of Clinton Township.
Much to her chagrin, as the years have gone by she's added about 45 minutes to her time. Last year, she completed the half-marathon in two hours and 55 minutes.
“There's not much I can do about it,” she said. “‘If I finish and don't die' — that's my motto now.”
Lutz said she doesn't mind the looks of surprise she gets from other runners.
“If I'm an inspiration for even one person, that's wonderful,” she said. “I would hope that I could encourage other people to get out. Even if they just walk.
“It's invigorating; I don't think people realize that unless they do it.”
The Buffalo Creek Half Marathon is scheduled for Saturday. It begins at the Winfield Volunteer Fire Department on Brose Road and continues on the Butler-Freeport Community Trail to Riverside Drive in Freeport.
The race is the largest fundraiser for the 21-mile Butler-Freeport Community Trail.
This year's goal is to raise $45,000, all of which will fund trail maintenance, said Chris Ziegler, president of the trail board of directors.
“It's an extraordinary amount of money to maintain the trail,” she said. Last year, the group spent between $50,000 and $60,000 on a bridge deck and railing for the new bridge over Coal Run in Butler Township, repairing other bridges and the new surface.
Last year's race brought in $38,000, Ziegler said.
More than 1,200 runners have signed up for the 13.1-mile race — the most ever.
“I'm really excited about the race,” Ziegler said. “When we first started eight years ago we had 174 runners.
“It's extraordinary how it's grown.”
New for this year is a timing mat at the start and finish lines to cut down on crowding at the start. As usual, there will be hot apple cider waiting for runners at the finish line.
The half marathon is a popular race because the course is fast and scenic, said Ed Doyle, owner of Up-N-Running, a running supply store in Middlesex, which provides silk-screened T-shirts for the race.
“From point-to-point, it's mostly downhill,” he said. “From a runner's point of view, it's going to be one of the fastest half-marathons they've ever run.”
Doyle helped get the marathon going the first year, along with Ron Bennett, former trail board president, who was instrumental in transforming the former railroad line into a community hiking and biking trail.
“It's a labor of love,” he said. “We've been nurturing this half-marathon for many years.”
For Lutz, the race is about the fun of it.
She said she started running at 50 because she was worried about her daughter running alone on the rural roads of southern Butler County. Lutz said she started out with fast walking, then moved to jogging and now she has numerous marathons under her belt.
She said she also stays in shape with biking and yard work, but she likes running because it clears her mind.
“It gives me a sense of well-being,” Lutz said.
Her words of advice to beginners is that the key to finishing a long race is pacing.
“The secret is to not start out too fast,” she said.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Kensington resident looks to transform city
- Lower Burrell family opens home to old-fashioned Easter egg hunt
- Retiring Arnold, Lower Burrell mayors look back with contrasting views
- Aspinwall searches for new police chief
- Program aims to spark grass-roots revival of New Ken
- Man in New Kensington standoff charged
- Smaller properties in Alle-Kiski Valley remain attractive to drillers
- Freshman arrested in Burrell High School bomb threat
- Kiski Area Intermediate School band chosen to play at state conference
- Cost of Apollo-Ridge lunches to increase