WEST POTSDAM - Cruising through its 16th edition like a world class triathlete the Hobble-Gobble Prediction Run-Walk noted two very gratifying milestones on Saturday.
Five hundred sixty nine participants gathered at the West Potsdam Fire Fall and completed either the short (3.56 miles) or long (6.125 miles) courses and combined to raise almost $16,000 which was an all time high for the event according to Race Director Derry Loucks.
The 2013 total also pushed the all-time fund-raising total over the $100,000 mark to $100,009.
The major recipient of todays funds is the Potsdam Holiday Fund but donations will also be made to different food banks all over the county, said Loucks. I want to thank Excellus Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Syracuse for stepping forward to become our major sponsor, all of our 29 sponsors, all 65 of our volunteers and all of participants. .
Sixteen years ago, Loucks was inspired to take over the directorship of the areas prediction run-walk which was founded by Jim Halpen in Madrid and then moved to Lisbon under the directorship of Wayne Moore.
Under Loucks guidance the event has become the biggest road race in the North Country and he plans to continue the tradition as long as people keep coming.
That is a great news for Potsdam Holiday Fund volunteer Nancy Griffin who spoke of the impact of the event for needy children in the Potsdam area.
The Hobble-Gobble is our main contributor and because of that we give 500 children gifts, warm clothes and food. We help 230 families and 100 senior citizens, said Griffin.
I want to thank everyone here and Derry. He does a fabulous job.
The 2013 Hobble Gobble Service To Running Award went to the founders of the Nicole Fleury Memorial Scholarship Run-Walk at SUNY Canton.
Diane Para, Kathy Fleury and Mo Bouchey founded the event at SUNY Canton 15 years ago to promote area physical fitness and to fund a scholarship in tribute to Nicole Fleury.
Fleury, a Malone native, was an outstanding athlete who was killed in a motor vehicle accident while driving back to the SUNY Canton campus.
Her character, kindness and energized personality touched everyone she met throughout her short life.
The day also featured some fabulous predictions by competitors in matching their biological clocks with the race timer.
The top four predictors on the long course and the top eight on the short course received medals and Thanksgiving turkeys.
Leading the field were April Grant of Canton who came within 8/10ths of a second of her predicted time on the long course and Connie Bicknell of Potsdam who came with 7/10s of a second of matching her prediction on the short course.
The other long course leaders were: Steve Newkofsky of Canton 4.3 seconds, Gary Turtecky-McDougall of Prescott, Ont. 6.0 seconds and Sean Spriggs of Potsdam 10.6 seconds.
Rounding out the medal-winning turkey toters on the short course were: Sara Lister of Potsdam 9/10s of a second, Teresa Roberts of Manatic, Ont. 2.1 seconds, Tasha Bernard of Potsdam 2.6 seconds, Rick Swift of Brockville 3.8 seconds, the team of Darren (5.1 seconds) and Riordan Cassidy (4.8 seconds) of Ottawa, Ont., Teresa Fisher of West Potsdam 5.5 seconds and Will Trithart of Potsdam 5.6 seconds.
The fastest times were turned by Malone high school standout Rebekkah Bond who led the short course in 0:23:22.6 and Elliott McGuire of Fort Drum who ran a 36:15 on the long course. Complete results are available on-line at SportsStats.
■First 2013 Entry - Norm Warner.
■Largest Family Entry: six-person Hindman Family of Potsdam.
■Oldest Competitor: Merv Hodson, 75 of Maitland, Ont.
■American Coming Furthest: Karen and Daniel Curran of Pembrook, N.H.
■Canadian Coming The Furthest: Kathleen Arrow of St. David, Que.
■Earliest First Time Entry: Colleen Stone of Norwood.
■Youngest Entry: Riordan Cassidy, 6 months, of Ottawa, Ont..
■Special Achievement Award: Lynn Short of Canton was honored for winning the Womens 60-64 division at the prestigious Utica Boilermaker Road Race in July.