Thursday, August 25, 2011

A new running trail currently covering almost nine miles has been cleared in the wooded areas located on the campus of St. Bernard Prep School. Roger Blaylock, a local realtor and avid runner, has been assisting the school in this project and hopes to complete a course that will extend to 13.1 miles in the future.

William Calvert, the St. Bernard cross country team’s coach, sought the help of Blaylock in creating this long course for the cross country program. “I have been a good friend of Coach William Calvert since my daughter ran track for him in high school many years ago. She wasn’t the fastest runner, but she had the drive to get her where she needed to be.” Blaylock continued. “Coach Calvert helped her get a full athletic scholarship to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and she is now a physical therapist in Idaho.” Laughing Blaylock said, “When Coach Calvert needs my help now, it’s hard to say ‘No.’”

Calvert, who serves as the St. Bernard Middle School Principal as well as Cross Country Coach, beams with pride as he talks about the current project. “We certainly have excellent trails for cross country competition,” he said. “The trails have long sweeping curves, sharp twists and turns and includes the challenge of hilly terrain.” Calvert plans to showcase the new trails during St. Bernard Prep Oktoberfest 5K Run scheduled for October 15, 2011.

According to Blaylock, conservationist will be happy with the work being done in the woods. “The area excavated has been raked down and covered with hay to stop erosion,” Blaylock said. “We have made every effort to open drains to allow water to flow properly by installing water bars so the land will not wash away.”

A bridge was constructed at the bottom of a basin to allow for proper drainage and cleaner running. With proper care the bridge should last a minimum of ten years.
Men involved in the project were the Lewis family, E.C. Gibbs, Robert Frank, Mike Smith, Mike Jackson, Mark Aderholt, Joanne Jetton, William Calvert, and Joe Black.

The City of Cullman plans to make good use of the trail as they will be hosting the 2012 National Archery Championship Tournament at St. Bernard.

Fr. Marcus Voss is very pleased with the work provided by the volunteers. “I just can’t say enough about these volunteers who have worked so hard on this project. I am grateful for all they have done in making such a difference for our school community.”

St. Bernard will participate in their first cross country run of the season on August 27 at Fairview High School. For a complete cross country schedule visit

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