St. Bernard Prep School hosted their first Half-Marathon recently through the wooded trails of the St. Bernard Abbey Treasure Forest. Seventy-nine runners registered for the event from Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama; and seventy-two finished the trail race.
Roger Blalock and William Calvert were all smiles Saturday morning as runners arrived to register. Cool morning temperatures provided a great start to the morning race.
Fr. Joel Martin, OSB, President of St. Bernard Prep School was on hand to open the ceremony with a prayer and to start the race.
Former Cullman High School and George Tech standout, E.C. Gibbs claimed the course with a record time of 1:25:43.00, followed by Dink Taylor of Huntsville 1:29.48.00. Taylor was the masters winner (0ver 40) as well. Eric Charette of Huntsville was 3rd place with a time of 1.31.58.00. Female winner (7th place overall) was Emily Spry of Elkmont with a time of 1:43:14.00. Laura Brock of Cullman was 2nd female (9th place overall) with a time of 1:46:12.00. Rachel Eidson of Huntsville was 3rd female (20th place overall) with a time of 1:57:32.00. Erica Davis of Hartselle was the female masters winner (30th place overall) with a time of 2:12:44.00. Male grandmasters winner (over 50) was Duane Ricketts of Cullman (5th place overall) with a time of 1:37:59.00. Female grandmasters winner was Susan Methvin of Loretto, Tn. (24th place overall) with a time of 2:05:07.00.
Calvert said it was a resounding success (72 finishers). “We hope to make it an annual event, and look for it to grow into a much anticipated event on the race calendar each year.”
Calvert thanked all that took part as participants, volunteers, photographers, spectators and of course our sponsors. “All of our people did a fantastic job in pulling this event together for a smooth start and finish,” Calvert said.
Blalock said the event is sure to grow. “We have had so much positive response not only about the trails, but the wonderful hospitality shown to the runners,” Blalock said.
Runners were treated to fresh fruit, muffins, cookies, water, coffee, chocolate milk, Pepsi and Gatorade. Local restaurant owners Ralph and Annette Harris of Rumor’s Deli provided delicious boiled oatmeal cookies and photography for the runners; and Sweet Peppers Deli owners David and Maria Steele donated wonderful sack lunches of sandwiches, cookies and chips provided to participants at the end of their run.
St. Bernard will host the Bloomin’ Festival 5K/10K on Saturday, April 20 to kick off the 29th Annual Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts Fair in Cullman.