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Inaugural Ice Scraper 5K exceeds expectations

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The Lehigh Valley Road Runners (LVRR) hosted a very successful event on December 22, 2013, with the first race in their inaugural Ice Scraper 5K Winter Series on a foggy, but warm winter morning in Allentown, PA.

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Organizers had expected 50 runners, but had nearly 300 pre registered with an additional 44 runners signing up on race morning.

“It was an amazing turnout. It shows that we really needed a winter series and it shows that we can make it grow,” said race committee member and LVRR board member Loretta Dodson.

Fellow race committee member Leslie Billowitch added, “I’m excited about the turnout and I can’t wait to see what the next couple of races will bring.”

There were 227 finishers with Allentown resident 21-year-old Mike Miller, leading the way with a time of 17:54. Kerry Schultz, 35, Allentown, was the top female finisher posting a time of 20:57.

The series was added by the 12-member LVRR board of directors this year, but before doing so, the board decided that they needed new members to join, step up, and help organize the events. “We did a call out to recruit new members,” said Dodson. “We ended up with new members, eight of whom joined the race committee.”

Dodson directs the club’s Kids Running Series which is entering its 15th season in 2014. “We wanted to do a series similar to what we’ve done with the kids events. We talked about offering a 10K too, but decided to see how things went this year before adding more distances. We’re going bare bones this year. No awards, free to members, and just $10 for non-members. If you run three of the four races you get a T-shirt and if you registered early, you get an ice scraper.”

The club membership will likely see a jump in membership, which presently stands at 625, since membership includes the series at no cost. “Participants might as well sign up for membership and race for free,” said Dodson. “With membership at just $20 for individuals, it’s best to join and race for free.”

The race course for today’s race was to be held on the cinder trail and paved surfaces in the Lehigh Parkway, the same Parkway which hosts the spectacular Lights on the Parkway during the holiday season, however, the course had to be changed due to a storm earlier in the week which dumped nearly seven inches of snow on the trails. “We talked with the city and decided to run on the roads instead of the trails since they were covered with snow. The roads were plowed and provided a better course for today’s race,” said Dodson.

The remaining events will be run on the mostly flat cinder and paved trails in the Parkway, weather permitting. Next up on the schedule is the race slated for January 19, followed by the February 23 installment, and culminating with the final event on March 23.

For more information about the LVRR and to see results from the series, visit www.lvrr.org.

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