Teen urges city to hold fun run

March 6, 2009

By Jim Feehan

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Clay Strom’s dream of seeing hundreds of local residents put their best foot forward has come true. The Hazen High School junior approached city officials a few months ago about the possibility of holding a 5-kilometer fun run in Newcastle. For those who are metrically challenged, that’s 3.1 miles. And the city liked the idea.

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  The race will be 9 a.m. Aug. 29.

  Strom, 17, said he kicked the idea around last summer with his father, Lee, a veteran runner who has participated in the Boston Marathon and     several other road races.

  “As runners ourselves, we thought that the promotion of running could only benefit the city,” Clay said. “We also felt that it could further initiate    a sense of community within Newcastle.”

Clay is a member of Hazen’s track and field team, and during the fall he participated in the school’s cross-country team. He also lettered in football. Cougar Mountain State Park is one of his favorite places to run in the region.

“The event is all about getting out there and having fun,” he said. “We already have Newcastle Days and Movies in the Park. I think it would be cool to add more things to the mix.”

Strom approached Michael Holly, the city’s parks program manager, with the idea of a fun run through the streets of Newcastle.

“The Parks Commission unanimously said this is exactly the kind of event we need in the city,” Holly said.

The event would be held on its own, rather than as part of Newcastle Days or other city-sponsored events. 

“That could work out well and serve as a challenge to area high schools’ cross-country teams, who could use the event to train for the upcoming season,” Holly said. “I just see a lot of enthusiasm for this event.”

The route will start at Lake Boren Park and head toward May Creek Park.

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