Submitted by Bob Snyder, KC3KVS
On Saturday, May 21, 2021, the Centre County YMCA held its annual 5K/10K race at Black Moshannon State Park. In order to ensure the safety of participants, an ambulance was stationed at the start/finish line. Due to a lack of cell phone reception, ham radio operators from PARA and NARC volunteered to provide communications at various mile markers along the course.
The 5K portion takes place on the mostly-level Westside Road. Darren Dixon W3DLD covered the one-mile mark while Jason Terosky KB3KPP and I staffed the two-mile mark. The start/finish line was covered by Dick Thompson K3BIE. At the start of each race, Dick transmitted a signal and we all started our stopwatches.
After the 5K race was concluded, Darren, Jason, and I proceeded to our respective stations on the 10K course which starts near the nature center, proceeds past the beach house and up Black Moshannon Road, and then climbs the steep hill to Huckleberry Road.
Additional stations were staffed by Bernie Ropchock W3BAR, and Rich Brnik KB3QKR
As the first group of runners approach the two-mile mark, you can hear Rich and Dick talking on the radio. Then I call out the runners’ times. I got a lot of thank-you’s. The runners seemed to really appreciate our help.
After the last runner and the sweep vehicle passed the two-mile mark, I returned to the start/finish line and watched a number of runners cross the finish line.
The last runner completed the 10K race somewhere around noon. I think that all of the radio operators had a good time and there was fortunately no need to summon the ambulance at any time.