Washingtonville Scholarship Run Turns 25!
By Eugenia Moskowitz
“At least it isn’t snowing” was a common phrase on people’s lips as about 350 runners warmed up at Washingtonville High School the morning of Apr. 7 for the 25th annual Washingtonville Scholarship Run 5K. While the temperature hovered at just above freezing, the snow which had been in the forecast never came, and when the gun went off, the runners made their way down Main Street through the village, up Washington Blvd. to Ahern Blvd., down Lincoln Dr., and back to the high school, where a hot pasta lunch awaited them served by high school students.
Along the route, JROTC cadets and members of the Little Britain Ambassadors and Taft Student Council handed out water and assisted runners along the way. The Washingtonville and Blooming Grove Police Departments were out on foot, in cars, and on quads. And as the first runners started coming in around fifteen minutes later, people cheered. The shorter race for very small children took place on the track afterwards.
This race was particularly special as it honored science teacher John “Shep” Shepherd, who started the event 25 years ago as a way to raise scholarship money for graduating Washingtonville seniors. Shep, as he is affectionately known, was called to the floor just before the awards ceremony in the gymnasium and presented with a plaque recognizing him for the special role he’s played in the Washingtonville school district as a mentor to the students. Race directors Barbara Quinn and Lindsey Maguire said Shep was always known for his colorful sneakers and neckties, and that he can often be seen running through the center of the village.
Commemorative 25th Anniversary t-shirts bore the original design created for the inaugural run in 1994 by a student at the time. Approximately 25 local businesses and civic organizations sponsored the run, with all proceeds from registrants going towards the scholarship fund.
For complete race results, go to http://www.secondwindtiming.com.