Run for the Red helps disaster relief around the Poconos

Sam Imber, Staff Writer

For itai??i??s 12th year, the American Red Cross hosted its annual Run for the Red Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K races. Runners gathered together on Sunday, May 21 to run, while raising money for disaster relief in the Poconos.

The American Red Cross, founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, provides support of all areas to victims of disaster. Whether it be food, shelter, or emotional support, this non profit organization provides humanitarian aid all over the world. The Red Cross is popularly known for their blood drives, which provide 40% of the nationai??i??s blood; their creation was actually the first nationwide civilian blood program back in the 1940ai??i??s. The Run for the Red races are raising money specifically for the Poconos chapter of the American Red Cross, and benefit those in the community in need of aid.

For the runners who participated in the marathon or half marathon, many weeks of hard work and training have led up to these events. The two races began at Pocono Mountain West High School at approximately 7 a.m. The full marathon, with its 569 runners, finished at SHSai??i??s own Ross-Stulgaitis Stadium, while the half marathon, with its 247 runners, ended at the Crescent Lodge in Paradise Valley.

The Run for the Red Marathon race actually serves as a qualifier for the famous Boston Marathon. Each year, hundreds around the community come to participate in or spectate the race. Many people even volunteer their time to help with registration, set up, clean up, and to assist in handing out ribbons to finishing runners.

With a time of 2:21:25, Chris Zablocki of Essex, CT came in first place overall in the marathon race. Heidi Peoples of Scranton, PA finished first for women in 2:52:55 and placed seventh overall. Other top finishers include Bryan Morseman of Bath, NY, Seth Tucker of Bluffton, SC, Jillian Corley of Hamden, CT, and Beth Mayer of Aberdeen, MD.

The Half Marathon had many phenomenal finishers as well, including Stroudsburgai??i??s own senior Nate Younker placing sixth overall at 1:26:09. Ms. Hilary Hakim, a Stroudsburg chemistry teacher, also participated in the race, finishing with an impressive time of 1:54:38, and junior Hannah Tepper placed first in her age group. Overall, the race was a big success for the Stroudsburg community as well as many others all across Pennsylvania.

The 5K road race had another successful run at the SHS Ross-Stulgaitis stadium. 204 participants wound their way through Main Street on the 3.1 mile course before crossing the finish line inside the stadium. SHS 2015 graduate, and former Cross Country runner, Shane Ramdeo finished first overall with an astounding time of 15:29. SJHS eighth grader Ciara Conboy was the first female runner to cross the finish line with a time of 19:18, placing fourth overall.

This event would not have been possible without the crucial sponsors supporting the cause, including Lehigh Valley Health Network, The Sherman Theater, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Ready Set Run, and many others! The races raised just over $50,000 for the Poconos American Red Cross, which will directly benefit community members affected by any sort of trauma or disaster. As their biggest fundraiser, the Run for the Red 2017 races were yet another huge success for the books!