The Fall Run Off Junior High Cross Country Invitational and BCIAA Cross Country Conference Run

Race director’s report by Tom Chobot

As part of our community service and outreach initiatives, the Pacers are involved in 2 cross country events each year during the third week in October. We do this with the goal of promoting interest in distance running among the youth of Berks County.

The first is the BCIAA (Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association) Conference Run on October 18th at Kutztown University and involves about 300 high school runners from 16 Berks County school districts. Gwyn and I have directed this race for 8 years, and each year we start with the Pacers for recruiting volunteers, who have always come through for us. Each year, we receive plenty of compliments from coaches, officials, and parents on how stellar our race staff executes the race. One official said, “How appropriate it is that the largest running club in the county manages the county XC championship.” Gwyn and I wish to thank those who offered their time to course marshal, direct traffic, and manage the finish line area. 

The second is an official Pacer event, and it is supported, financed, and presented entirely by the club and its membership. It is officially called the Fall Run Off Invitational, but the kids call it the junior high ( 7th and 8th grades) county championships because the field is made up of around 200 runners from the 15 Berks County public school districts who have a junior high cross country program. The coaches, parents, and even the kids tell us each year that this is much more than just another race. It is their “big dance” and the highlight of their season. This was the club’s 14th year presenting the race, which was held at the Reading Fairgrounds on October 22nd. Gwyn, Phil, and I are grateful beyond words for the unending support for this event by the club and its members. 

I might add that both events provide far reaching and effective PR and community interaction for the club as well. As the leaders of the local running community, this cannot be overstated. Well done, Pacers!

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