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WOOD RIVER – The Alton Road Runners Club's annual Summer Series for 2015 came to a cool end Sunday evening with the 20th edition of the club's Spash-N-Dash event, which consisted of a series of runs around the track at East Alton-Wood River High School's track at Memorial Stadium, followed by a swimming party for participants at The Aquatic Center next door to the school.
Runs ranged from a quarter-mile around the EA-WR track for children aged 6 and under, a half-mile run for children aged 7-14 and a mile run for those 15 and over, including adults; an estimated 175 runners took part in the event. While the runs were timed, no formal competition was held as the Summer Series is designed mostly to introduce youngsters to the joys of running for fun and recreation.
“The run tonight is more like a family event,” said Road Runners Club president Russ Colona, who will soon be starting his 25th year as EA-WR cross-country coach next week when preseason training officially gets under way. “Our participants can come out, get a run in, have a some hot dogs and soda and then have a fun time at the pool afterwards.
“What we're doing here is introducing running to kids of all ages. It's something you can do for a lifetime and have fun doing it. That's what the series is about – giving kids a chance to experience all three kinds of running, road running, grass running and track running.”
Some of the participants, Colona felt, showed good talent. “There were some kids who really did well,” he said. “But as I said, the main thing is for everyone to have a good time.”
All those who completed their runs were awarded a ribbon at the end of their event, and those who took part in all three events over the summer – the Alton Memorial Hospital Family Run, the Hit-N-Run Pee-Wee Run and Sunday's event – were awarded medals for their participation in the series.
“We had about 111 persons who took part in all three races,” Colona said. “That's a pretty good number and we're happy we had such a good turnout for the events.”
The Road Runners Club will have several events in the fall; for more information on the club or upcoming events, visit their web site at www.altonroadrunners.com
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