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Thursday, June 12, 2008 -- Connellsville, PA
Francis "Bud" Murphy Memorial 5K (iPO Event Id#: 10954)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006] [2007]

Friends New and Old Meet at "Buds"

Article and photos by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Racing together is fun
Francis "Bud" Murphy passed away many years ago, but his love for sports continues to grow within the people of Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

Like many places that thrived as confectionery stores and dairy bars in the 1940's and 50's, Bud Murphy's was no different. Bud and his wife Hazel ran a small, neighborhood dairy bar that evolved into one of the largest local gathering places in the area, Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant.

Complete with plaques, trophies, and photos of the many sports teams the restaurant supports, the bar is also full of "Bud". Walls are decorated with Bud's face, smiling with local and professional sports stars including Connellsville legend John Woodruff.

Over 380 runners and walkers flocked to the Highlands Hospital entrance. The hospital has been the main sponsor for years. SERJ (Race Management Systems, Inc.), organized the start and finish, providing professional race results.

Photo by Julie Black
Buds ready for fun at Buds
The course wound its way through the neighboring streets where cops directed traffic at every intersection. The route then headed up to the local junior high school and back for a loop, providing a challenging hill on the return.

People stood and sat outside of their homes to offer water and hose sprays to racers as they passed. They also cheered wildly to show their support.

Returning champion from Hopwood, PA, 19-year old Jeff Palya, was challenged by local, Wade Schnorr. Both kept a 5:30 pace, but Palya sprinted through the heat for the overall win.

Jamie Rankin, a reporter from the Daily Courier interviewed Palya about the course. "It's pretty grueling for the first two miles, I'd say," Palya said. "Once you get to the two-mile mark, you can pretty much open it up."

Cole Klinchock of Mount Pleasant, PA, claimed 3rd with a time of 17:26.

Jenny Kooser (Mill Run, PA), dominated the course as the first woman finishing 15th overall.

Fourteen year old, Alexandria Brant, (Latrobe, PA) was the 2nd woman with a time of 21:48. Amanda Rubis crossed for 3rd (22:13).

Jamie Brooks returned as the first overall walker again, striding in at 30:44. Brooks wins walks at several area events.

Photo by Julie Black
Reno 911? No, Connellsville finest
After the race, Magic Star Productions pumped out the tunes while racers enjoyed free pizza and refreshments. Then it was time for the free suds and reunion at where else... Bud Murphy's.

Don't miss the next race that offers post-race fun at Bud Murphy's, the 26th Annual John Woodruff 5K Run and Walk. Join us on Wednesday, July 9, 7:00 pm at Connellsville Stadium. We'll be taking photos of course!

For the Record: I'd like to give a shout-out to Craig and Gwen Baer.

Photo by Julie Black
Craig and Gwen Baer

I see this wonderful couple at almost every run that I cover. They travel the area supporting races and their upbeat attitude spreads throughout. They also ask me (every race) why I'm not running and that's a good point.

I guess taking pictures and racing don't go together for me, considering that I need to get photos of the fastest people too (I'm not one of them by the way). But when I get the chance I run races for sure! Looks like it's time to give my husband the camera so I can run a few more this season.

Hey Craig, hope your leg feels better fast. See you at the next one.