Fun triumphs over freezing temps in SNOBALL Run

Avery Bolwin, left, and Avery Schriner were among the 315 runners who shook off the cold winter blues during the third annual SNOBALL 5K Race/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run sponsored by the Bay Rocket Athletic Boosters. Photo by Mike Strauss

Runners and walkers braved chilly temperatures of 21 degrees and falling snow in the third annual Bay Rocket Athletic Boosters SNOBALL 5K Race/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run in Bay Village held on Feb. 21.

Race director Tim Brajdic reported that, in spite of the week of Arctic temperatures and wind chills leading up to the run, Saturday’s event drew an overall registration of 459 entrants, while 315 participants actually braved the conditions on race day. Brajdic estimated that proceeds from this year’s SNOBALL Run and pancake breakfast are more than $3,000.

“We were bound to finally have a February race with cold temperatures,” said Brajdic. "Fortunately, the weather conditions did not hold back the energy and support of the race participants and volunteers – everyone rose to the challenge!”

The overall male open winner was Bay High junior and cross-country team member Jack Hautz, 17, with a time of 17:48. The overall female winner was Molly Fior, 29, of Amherst (22:53).

In the 5K race special awards categories, four 2014 champions defended their titles. The 2015 “First Dog to Cross the Finish Line (with its Owner)” was again Hamlet, running with Rich Oldrieve of Bay Village (22:15). For the second year in a row, the “First Baby to Finish in a Stroller” was Ally Pistorino pushed by her dad, Mike Pistorino of Bay Village (29:14).

The 2015 “Most Senior Participant” award went to Lou Povinelli, 83, of Westlake.

In the “Best Costumed/Most Spirited” categories, winners were second-grader Gwynn Miller (elementary school group), sixth-graders Ally Bleisath and Bridget Dougherty (middle school), sophomores and cross-country runners Ellie Frey and Anna Walker (high school), and Paul Langer (adult group), all of Bay Village. The “Special Spirit Award” went to Bay Middle School teacher Chris Brewer and his 5-year-old son, Jalan, of Bay Village.

Adding spirit to the 2015 race were members of the Bay High Pep Band who endured the snow to entertain runners and walkers. In addition, student volunteers Kerry O’Brien and Stephanie Jordan dressed as costumed characters and greeted children and helped distribute awards to top finishers at the post-race ceremony. Kudos also to the behind-the-scenes volunteer kitchen team led by Don Wilson and Bob Piccirilli, the chefs behind the delicious stacks of buttermilk pancakes served up at the post-race breakfast.

A volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization, the Bay Rocket Athletic Boosters group is dedicated to raising funds through events like the SNOBALL Run to promote and support the athletic teams at both Bay High School and Bay Middle School.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:41 AM, 03.03.2015