5K race established in memory of Belle Vernon alum Ryan Moravec
Ryan Moravec was a popular student/athlete at Belle Vernon Area who had a passion for running.
A 2003 BVA graduate, he lost his life in a tragic motor vehicle accident on May 22, 2012, and his family and friends have never forgotten the zest for life that he had.
Those who knew Moravec were familiar with his quirky personality and his unique outfits, such as the classic sweatpants and sweater combinations. He was an elite athlete with a passion for running that was only equaled by his passion for nature and helping others. He ran every day, no matter the weather conditions.
On the day of his college graduation, he would not go out to dinner with his parents until after he had his evening five-mile run.
A quote that he is well-known for living by is this one: “There is no excuse not to run. It's just about being happy, and running makes me happy.”
He actually started his athletic career as a soccer player before he morphed into a distance runner.
In his last 15 5K races, he finished no lower than second and made it a practice to donate his prize money back to the race if it were, indeed, for charity.
He ran his first 5K race in 1998 at the young age of 13 and finished second.
On July 7, the Running With Ryan Moravec Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be held at the John DiVirgilio Sports Complex.
Registration for the race is $20 with all proceeds going toward scholarships for Belle Vernon Area track athletes in Moravec's name and also to fund the charity race for years to come.
“The purpose of the race is to remember Ryan Moravec and his passion for running, as he was a track and field athlete and coach and teacher,” said John Kerekes, who was a teammate of Moravec's in both high school and college. “He also competed for California University as a runner. He was a special person who will forever be missed. A group of his friends and family are sort of putting the race together.
“We started the Ryan Moravec Memorial Track Award at BVA and the race is going to provide scholarships to Belle Vernon Area track athletes.”
A representative of the organizing group said that close to 100 people have already signed up for the race.
A web site was established for the event, www.runningwithryan.weebly.com. Interested persons can link on to the web site and either register for the event or make a donation to the charity.
Registration the day of the event is 7 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m. Awards will be given to the overall winners and age group winners.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.