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Foley 5K set to celebrate 30th year

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By Nancy Henry
Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

The 30th A.G. Montessori-Phil Foley Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be Aug. 10 at Yough River Park in Connellsville.

“This race is being held for the 30th time, which is a remarkable tribute to the memory of Phil Foley,” race director Jes Hutson said. “We are very appreciative of the great support we receive from the local communities, which allows us to continue to have our event to remember Phil and to help support the A.G. Montessori School.”

A children's half-mile fun run for ages 2-11 begins at 9 a.m. All fun run participants will receive a medal. Walkers and runners will start their race on the trail at 9:30 a.m. All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a T-shirt.

Awards will be given to the top three overall male and female winners for runners and walkers, along with 14 age-group prizes.

Foley was a faculty member at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus and also owned local sporting goods stores. He was an avid runner and believed in physical fitness for everybody.

He set a number of track records as a runner at Geibel High School and inspired many to get involved in running.

“Phil died of cancer at the age of 32,” Hutson said. “We honor him by holding this yearly event. This race is an appropriate tribute to him because of his love for both running and education.”

A.G. Montessori School director and head teacher Marjorie Murphy noted the significance of the race.

“The Phil Foley Race blends beautifully with education and physical fitness for both children and adults,” Murphy said. “We try to educate the mind, as well as the body and that was what Phil was all about.

“We have a loyal group of racers. As I mail forms out I can picture them when I see their names. They come year after year.”

Pre-registration is preferred by race organizers so that T-shirts can be ordered.

However, walk-ups are accepted on race day. Registration for all participants begins at 8:15 a.m. at Yough River Park. Awards will be given after the race.

The A.G. Montessori School exists to foster self-motivated, independent learning in a structured environment. It is a place where children can develop individual talents at an individual pace.

“We are looking forward to a great turn out for this, the 30th year, not just to support the school, but to honor the memory of Phil Foley,” Hutson said. “We usually see about 150 participants.”

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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