BETHESDA-Bethesda has added a new event to this year's annual Chautauqua Homecoming Days: a 5K race. Organized by avid runner and Bethesda council member Rodney Miller, the course will begin and finish at the playground area of Epworth Memorial Park, winding through just over three miles of village streets and up near the reservoir.
Miller thought it would be a nice activity and introduce a new group of people to the town and to Chautauqua Days. "It's in the style of the old Dick Grobe or Mickey Phipps races, through the streets. It's kind of a neighborhood tour thing." Proceeds from the race will support other village events for children like parades, the Easter Egg Hunt and the Halloween party.
He describes the route as "a lot of ups and downs in the first 1.5 miles" but leveling out for "an easy finish." It is open to runners and walkers and begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 14. "Witty, interesting" t-shirts will be given to the first 125 to register, and Chef Mark Glass will be providing lunch for the racers.
T-L Photo/GLYNIS VALENTI
Bethesda Police Chief Tim Zdanski, left, and Councilman Rodney Miller review the map and street closings for the new Bethesda 5K Race to be held during this year’s Chautauqua Days.
Award and prize categories include male and female runners, male and female walkers plus various age group awards. Many area businesses and organizations have donated prizes or funds to the event: Hidden Meadows Kennel, M&C Transport, the Loading Zone, Jean's Barber Shop, Hazen Lodge #231, Green Valley Co-op, Tom Johnson Insurance, Ed and Jack's Muffler Shop, Smith's Sawdust Studio, Custom Images, Bethesda Belmont Morristown Rotary, Bethesda Senior Center, McCormick and Sons, Ridgeway Self Storage, Braido Memorials, TAZ Photography, Bathfitter, Ladies and Gents Styling and Tanning Salon and Woodsfield Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Some of the door prizes include auto detailing, food gift certificates and "really cool hats."
Miller, race co-director Cindy Foose and Miller's wife Denise also organize the annual Barkcamp Race in October, a popular run on the Health Plan and Ohio Valley Runners and Walkers Grand Prix race circuit. He says next year the Bethesda race will be eligible for competition points, too.
Miller worked with Police Chief Tim Zdanski on the route, which includes 17 streets that will be closed during Saturday's hour-long race from 8 to 9 a.m. Police ask that residents do not travel on these roads during that time period: Virginia St., Lake St., Depot St., Front St., Rice Ave., Lynn St., McKinley Ave., Spruce St., Pear St., Boardman St., Joanna St., Oak St., Summit St., E. Spring St., Reservoir Dr., Second St. Alley-Second St. and First St. Alley-First St.
Bethesda is located five miles off of Interstate 70, south on State Route 149, then west on State Route 147. To find Epworth Park, continue on SR 147 and turn left at the Bethesda Market.
A race map with elevation chart is available at www.thebarkcamprace.net, and Miller says course previews are available by appointment. To register online go to www.theracedeal.com. For more information on the Bethesda or Barkcamp races, call Miller at (740) 359-7533 or Foose at (740) 391-1236.
Valenti can be reached at email@example.com.