The weather wasn’t cooperative on the final evening of the 38th season of Greater Derry Track Club (GDTC) Summer Fun Runs Thursday, July 30, at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, as the last night’s races were cancelled by darkening skies and increasing rain showers. But that didn’t mean that the GDTC didn’t still get some work done in closing the shutters on the successful 2015 series.
“Our weather luck had run out, with oppressive temps in the 90s to be broken by rain storms at 6 o’clock,” lamented 2015 co-director and Londonderry resident Maureen Knepp. “Participants were able to pick up a medal and T-shirt, and the total count for food donated this final week was 123.8 pounds. That brings the total amount donated to the Saint Thomas Food Bank in Derry to 1,737.2 pounds.”
As has been the case throughout the history of the GDTC summer series, race registrants are asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate as their registration fees, with the food donated to the Saint Thomas Food Bank to help the local needy.
From the standpoint of the competitiveness of Londonderry youngsters in the 2015 GDTC series, several wound up placing among the top finishers in their respective age divisions.
Winning first places in their classes were 11-year-old girl Grace McDonough and 12-year-old female champ Cailey McDonough. Both young ladies are Londonderry residents.
“This is one of the most rewarding parts of our club, to be able to see smiling faces reach the finish line and watch these young athletes grow from year to year,” said Knepp. “The program continues to grow, and this year we had over 700 athletes sign up, which was the most ever. We also lucked out with great weather for the first five nights.”
The 2015 series also broke new ground by introducing a 100-meter adaptive run, which the GDTC hopes to continue.