ShareThis Page

Runners take your mark ... Woodruff race set for Wednesday in Connellsville

| Thursday, July 4, 2013, 6:09 p.m.

More than 500 runners/walkers are expected to hit the streets of Connellsville on Wednesday during the 31st annual John Woodruff 5K Run and Walk.

The event starts and ends at Falcon Stadium on Arch Street.

“Our committee gets together in July for the race, and it all comes together. Everyone knows their job and makes sure it gets done,” said Nancy Dye, Woodruff race committee member.

Volunteer Chris Wallander sends out letters. Plans are made for T-shirts, souvenir glasses and more, Dye said.

Rick Grimaldi has been a Woodruff committee member since the race began.

“The Woodruff Race is one of the biggest events we have in this area. It is a great community function. We have participants from everywhere, including West Virginia, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and even greater distances such as the New England states. It is an all-ages activity, one that often brings entire families together. We have had grandmothers, mothers, daughters and granddaughters that compete. There are those who make this event a ritual. Several groups from the Greensburg area come every year to compete. They just don't miss this. It's the Woodruff race,” Grimaldi said.

This year's race benefits the 25th annual John Woodruff Scholarship, said Linda Ruth, race committee member. The scholarship is awarded yearly to a female and a male graduate from Connellsville Area High School.

The 2013 scholarship winners are Lauren Harvey and Matthew Cramer.

The race begins at 7 p.m., the walk begins at 7:05 p.m. and the noncompetitive walker groups begin at 7:10 p.m.

There is a kid's fun run in Falcon Stadium starting at 6 p.m. for those who are 9 years old and younger. No application is needed.

Spectators are a big part of the evening. They line Arch Street to watch the race begin then sit in the stadium bleachers to watch and cheer as competitors enter the stadium and cross the finish line.

Kevin Harrison announces during the race each year and names many of the competitors as they complete the 5K. He keeps spectators informed through the awards ceremony.

Registration is $20. Applications can be picked up at Bud Murphys, the Greater Connellsville Area Chamber of Commerce office, Grimaldi Dental office and online at

Those who walk up the night of the race can bring their application, with check made payable to John Woodruff Club. Those who have pre-registered can pick up their packets early, 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at New Haven Hose Company on Seventh Street.

Door-prize winners will be posted at the awards ceremony. There will be refreshments and water for competitors at the end of the race.

Awards will be presented to age-group winners. Timing is provided by SERJ Racing Services. A post-race get-together will be held at Bud Murphy's. Souvenir event glasses will be filled for free from 8-10 p.m.

“This race is a great tribute to John Woodruff. He was a tremendous person; Connellsville was very near and dear to him. He came from Arizona every year for this race when he was able. We keep this event alive in his memory,” Grimaldi said.

Beginning next year, race applications will no longer be mailed out. They can be obtained at

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.