34th Firecracker Run will stay the course
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
One of the biggest dilemma’s Ephrata Firecracker Run Co-Race Director Dave Lloyd faced since last year’s race was which course would they use for the 34th annual event which is set for Monday, July 4.
Would they go back to the original, grueling course, the course set up a few years ago when construction in town forced some changes, or the one put in place last year that was highlighted by a two-mile stretch jaunt on the Ephrata Linear Trail?
Well, the people have spoken.
After receiving much praise about last year’s course, Lloyd and the powers-that-be decided to keep that layout in place for at least another year.
"We just received so much positive feedback," Lloyd said Monday of the newest course. "We are going to head back through the linear trail and back to War Memorial that way. People liked it, and we are very excited about using it again this year."
Lloyd also reported good pre-registration numbers, heading into the final two weeks prior to the annual run.
"It’s about two weeks out and we got about 300 already so that’s a real good number," he said. "I think a lot of people are hanging around this year. We usually have a lot of what seems to be out of staters but actually it’s a lot of people who used to live here who are coming back for the holidays and traditionally run."
While the trail is the newest attraction to the run, another added feature to this layout is a much flatter course. In prior years, the Pine St. hill, which was smack in the middle of the course, separated the men from the boys. In the new course, the runners will make the turn off State at Spruce, a much flatter track, and quickly head down Lincoln Ave. and back to Main.
"The Spruce St. hill is certainly not as intense," Lloyd said last year. "We thought that if we eliminate some of the hills, we could make it a little faster course."
A year ago, Daryl Weaver of Hopeland captured his first Firecracker crown, winning in a time of 27:16.51. Cocalico graduate John Wallace finished in 27:29.02 to place second.
On the women’s side, Columbia’s Katie Shelley, a then 21-year-old senior runner on the Penn State University cross country squad, turned in a time of 30:57.61 to win the first place women’s trophy.
A total of 545 runners crossed the finish line.
As for this year’s race, the run will kick off Ephrata’s Fourth of July celebration at 8:30 a.m., with the two-mile Fun Run set to start immediately after the final runner crosses the finish line.
To register for the event, pick up a form at the Ephrata Recreation Center, or download one at: www.ephratarec.com. You may also register prior to the run on race day, between 6:30 and 8 a.m. at War Memorial Field.
Complete race results will be published in the July 6 edition of The Ephrata Review.
The following is the complete turn-by-turn rundown of this year’s course:
? Start: Oak Blvd. & Old Mill Rd.
? Old Mill Rd. to S. State St.
? Left onto S. State St.
? State St. to Spruce St.
? Right onto Spruce St.
? Spruce St. to Lincoln Ave.
? Right onto Lincoln Ave.
? Lincoln Ave. to E. Main St.
? Right onto E. Main St.
? E. Main St. to Rail-Trail
? Left onto Rail-Trail
? Rail Trail to Lemon St.
? Right onto Lemon St.
? Lemon St. to Pointview Ave.
? Left onto Pointview Ave.
? Pointview Ave. to Sycamore St.
? Right onto Sycamore St.
? Straight on Sycamore St. onto Old Mill Road
? Finish: War Memorial Field More COURSE, page B-2