Record run of the green: More than 1,800 registerAt first it looked as though the 32nd Runnin O’ the Green was going to post some disappointing numbers, but instead it turned into a record year with 1,882 registered participants. “That was definitely an all-time high,” said Larry Knoblich, the run’s founder. “But at 1 (p.m.) the people doing the registering were saying ‘is anybody going to show?’”
By: By Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
At first it looked as though the 32nd Runnin O’ the Green was going to post some disappointing numbers, but instead it turned into a record year with 1,882 registered participants.
“That was definitely an all-time high,” said Larry Knoblich, the run’s founder. “But at 1 (p.m.) the people doing the registering were saying ‘is anybody going to show?’”
It appeared most waited until the last minute to register for the 2 p.m. start of the Runnin O’ the Green. At 1:30 p.m., Knoblich said, participants started showing up in droves.
“We were still registering people at 3:30,” he said. “We ended up with a fantastic crowd and it turned into a great day.”
In all there were probably around 3,000 people taking part in the run, he said. When Knoblich and his wife, Joan, finally got downtown, he saw “hundreds and hundreds of young people who had not registered.”
There’s no way to prevent people who don’t register from participating in the run. However, Knoblich said next year he’s going to ask Police Chief Dave Donegan to check for name tags on anyone cited by police for open container or disorderly conduct.
“My suspicion is those are walk-ons,” Knoblich said.
Lt. Bruce Judd, the watch commander at the Law Enforcement Center, said although the final reports weren’t all in Sunday, the run went pretty well from a police perspective. He said several people were cited for unlawful possession and a couple of DUIs were issued Saturday night.
“But as far as I know there were no really big problems and not many complaints,” Judd said.
Every year Knoblich brings up the rear, following the last of the runners down the hill and walking the entire course. He said his wife, Joan, only fell once coming down the hill from Frontier Fort. The two carry garbage bags as they walk picking up trash along the way and checking to make sure no one has fallen by the wayside.
He said the bar managers along the route were happy with how everything went this year. By the time the Knoblichs arrived downtown, it was 8 p.m. and crowded with participants in the run. And during their walk, Knoblich said, they collected $110 in donations, bringing the total taken in that day to nearly $19,000.
The amount donated to Camp Grassick and provide some support for 13 area residents suffering from cancer will be several thousand dollars less after the expenses are paid.
“It’s still a big amount of money to give Camp Grassick and it benefits a lot of people in the area,” Knoblich said.
There are genuine runners in the Runnin O’ the Green as well as those just out for the fun of it. The male winner of this year’s run was Chad Marsolek, who won with a minus 64.15 minutes. Knoblich joked that he “ran faster than the speed of light.” Actually, 5 minutes are deducted for each beverage consumed. The female winner was Amy Mackenzie Whiffler, who did the run in minus 59.35 minutes. She apparently consumed one less beverage.
Early Sunday morning the Knoblichs were back walking the course — this time with bags for some serious trash cleanup. He said they filled only four kitchen-size bags and most of that was winter trash.
“I want to make sure that Jamestown is cleaner on Sunday than it was on Friday,” Knoblich said.
Other residents apparently agree with him, he said. There wasn’t much to clean up and others in the community were also walking the course with trash bags.
Knoblich is feeling good about this year’s run although he thought it could have been warmer outside.
“I had a wonderful time and I’m already looking forward to next year,” he said. “I’m sticking around until the 50th. I’ll be 95 years old then and I wonder if I’ll be able to make it down the hill.”
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at email@example.com