‘The Amazing Race’
Annual 5k celebrates those recovering from drug addiction
By KATHRYN KLINE
LOCK HAVEN — More than 170 racers came out Saturday morning for the 5th Annual Rally for Recovery 5k in Lock Haven — a race dedicated to spreading awareness and education about drug addiction.
Runners and walkers alike got to enjoy the scenic 5k route, which included the beautiful backdrops of farmland and the Bald Eagle Creek, while supporting those who are in recovery.
“The goal is to educate the community to see that addiction is a disease. It does not discriminate, and anybody can be affected,” said Clinton County Senior Probation Supervisor David Goodwin, a member of Advocates for a Drug Free Tomorrow and project coordinator for the Rally. “Recovery needs support from the community.”
From organizers who exuded clear passion for the event, to supporters who lined the start and finish lines with handmade signs and cheers of support — this event was truly a celebration for those in recovery.
The turnout for the race, which is hosted by Advocates for a Drug Free Tomorrow, greatly increased from years past, and organizers were thrilled to see the community support for the cause.
“Two years ago, there were probably only like 20 people. And now we have this many people coming out to support those in recovery,” Goodwin said.
The race started at 10 a.m. at the Piper Building, and most participants were finished by 11 a.m.
The race finished at the Castanea Picnic Grounds, where there was free food, drink, games, music, and stands from several vendors — to celebrate racers and provide information about the cause and sponsors of the event.
Organizers wanted to include stands and vendors from the community who place an emphasis on providing resources for good health and recovery.
Stands included the Meadows, Clean Slate, Sport and Spine Chiropractic Rehab, West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, Al-Anon, who all provided informational pamphlets, an aromatherapy and jewelry stand, and more.
The first finisher overall was Steven Schankweiler, a 19-year-old Lock Haven University student, who finished with a time of 17 minutes and seven seconds.
Second to finish was Michael Max, 15, of Lock Haven, with a time of 18:47.
And the third place finisher was Cheryl K. Capone, 48, with a time of 19:33.
Medals and gift cards were handed out to the top race finishers.
In addition to the huge turnout, another improvement for this year’s race was that it was professionally timed by Falcon Race Timing.
Falcon Race Timing provided a multitude of equipment for the race, including a 15-foot inflatable finish line arch, a race clock, timing and scoring of all participants, online registration sign-ups including donations, fundraising, participant manager and immediate results with web and mobile access.
“I time about 15 races a year, and this is the biggest I’ve done all year,” said Chris Markel, of Selinsgrove, who works for Falcon Race Timing. “It was a really good sized race.”
Another addition this year was a guest speaker, Hannah Rafter, who gave her inspiring story about how she fought her way out of drug addiction.
The Rally for Recovery is the first scenic road race in the Lock Haven area, and organizers want to keep their original mission in mind while it continues to grow each year.
“We had the race timing company come and advertised more this year because we wanted to get more people out, but the mission of the race stayed the same,” Goodwin said, addressing the growth of the annual 5k.
The event takes lots of planning by organizers, and is essentially an all-year effort in terms of preparation.
“Within the next few months, we will probably start talking about next year’s race already,” Goodwin said. “We have an awesome team. We had some new members on the team this year and everybody did their part.
Goodwin and other organizers were grateful to those who offered their time and support to help make this event a success.
“We have support from the commissioners– we couldn’t have done it without them. And we couldn’t have done it without the support of both judges, who believe in recovery,” Goodwin said. “With that support, and support from the community, we can change the way the tide goes. We’re overcoming stigma.”
For full race results, head to https://falconracetiming.com/.
And for more information on the annual Rally for Recovery 5k or Advocates for a Drug Free Tomorrow, check out their Facebook page, or contact David Goodwin by phone at 570-893-4051 ext. 3375, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.