PHDC applies for RRCA championship series

October 2, 2012



Red Bud 10-miler, Fire on the Mountain 50K to be considered 

The Potomac Highlands Distance Club has applied for two of its 2013 events to be considered for RRCA Championship status.

AUGUSTA, W.Va., Oct. 2 — After a hiatus of about two and one-half years, the Potomac Highlands Distance Club has applied to the Road Runners Club of America for two of its events in 2013 to become RRCA Championship races.

Under its original name of the Mountain Maryland Marathon Club, the club hosted the 2nd annual Mountain Maryland Half Marathon in April 2010 in Cumberland, Md., as part of the five-race Mountain Maryland Marathon Festival. That event attracted more than 500 runners from 17 states and Washington, D.C., to downtown Cumberland and helped fill hotels and restaurants. Along with being a charity event for the local United Way, the event disbursed more than $8,000 in performance-based cash prizes in 2009 and 2010.

This past April, the Red Bud Distance Run — tried to mimic many of the successes the Mountain Maryland Marathon Festival achieved. In only a few months’ planning, a key group of volunteers established partnerships with more than two dozen businesses and civic organizations.

“A marketing expert once told me that the first year of any new athletic event should expect to lose money,” said Kevin Spradlin, PHDC executive director. “Our club is too small to allow that. So we watch the bottom line, at all times, and like the Mountain Maryland Marathon Festival, we ended the first year of the Red Bud Distance Run in the black” and was, in fact, able to donate proceeds from the event to the Hampshire County Committee on Aging and the Romney office of Catholic Charities West Virginia.

Spradlin said he’s glad the Potomac Highlands Distance Club is once again hopeful for a partnership with the Road Runners Club of America. The Red Bud Distance Run has two options for participations — the 10-mile run/walk and the 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk. The PHDC has applied for West Virginia State Championship status for the 10-mile distance. The 2013 event is scheduled for Sunday, April 28.

“The designation could help attract some of the top distance runners in the state of West Virginia, and around the region, to southeastern Hampshire County,” Spradlin said. “Wouldn’t that be great?”

The PHDC also has applied for Eastern Region Championship designation for the club’s 4th annual Fire on the Mountain 50K (presented by Sheetz), a point-to-point trail run among more than 47,000 acres in Green Ridge State Forest. Next year’s race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 27.

“Again, the RRCA Eastern Region Championship designation could help bring some of the best ultra runners around to western Maryland,” Spradlin said. “This year, we’ve got a stud runner from Ontario coming down. I’d love to see someone try to run this 32-mile course under the four-hour mark. I’m not sure it’s possible for someone to do that on two feet.”

The club hopes to know as soon as late October if either application has been approved. The PHDC has been an RRCA member since October 2008. In less than four years, the club has helped raise nearly $40,000 for a wide variety of charities and healthy causes benefitting groups and people living in the Potomac Highlands area.

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