With temperatures and conditions ideal for distance running, the fall is filled with marathons and half-marathons for competitive runners and fitness enthusiasts.
Earlier this month, the Johnstown Marathon was held for the 35th consecutive year and the event attracted participants from as far away as Mexico.
In early November, the streets of Johnstown will again provide a course for a distance run making its debut. Morley’s Run, a 10-mile run and five-mile fun run/walk, takes place Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. Proceeds from this event benefit The Tribune-Democrat’s Newspaper In Education program, which supplies newspapers to area teachers for use as curriculum.
Heather and Joe Nibert, local running enthusiasts who have participated in marathons in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Connecticut and Texas, helped organize the event.
“When we were approached about helping, we thought, ‘What type of race should it be?’ In the area, there are so many 5k’s, we thought, let’s do something a little bigger,” Heather Nibert said. “Some people are intimidated by half-marathons but they want to do more than a 10k.”
So, a 10-mile run starting in Westmont that winds through Stackhouse Park and past Iron Street provided an ideal choice.
For those not as adventurous, a 5-mile fun run/walk was also added. Both events are open to all ages.
“There used to be a great race called the Spirit of Johnstown, and that was the last time this size of a race was held here,” said Nibert, who graduated from Bishop McCort. “We wanted to get some fresh blood and a fresh look.”
The race course incorporates many of Johnstown’s historical landmarks, and the race’s name also borrows from Flood City’s past. As legend has it, Morley’s Dog saved three lives during the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889.
“That’s why we chose Morley. It’s a race for Newspaper in Education, but we wanted to bring a historical aspect into it,” Nibert said. “We wanted to capture the spirit of Johnstown with the course.”
The Nibert’s won’t be participating in the race as they’ll be working along people like Dave Mapes, the official timer.
But they’ve found the organizational aspect of running to be rewarding.
“We’ve had a lot of people offer advice. It’s been good,” Joe Nibert said. “We had a lot of fun putting the course together, and I think it’s pretty unique. You’ll go from road to trail back to road. I think 10 miles is the perfect distance.”
Registration forms can be printed and mailed to:
c/o Julie Fox-Arnott
425 Locust St., P.O. Box 340, Johnstown, Pa., 15907
Registration forms can also be dropped off at The Tribune-Democrat.
Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m.