For the past decade, families and runners from across Southern Maryland have enjoyed a tradition on the Fourth of July holiday at Patuxent High School.
“This summer was the 10th year for the Race to the Creek 5K held at Patuxent High School on July 4th,” Panthers head cross country and track and field coach Dave Walser said.
Patuxent’s running teams use the event as a fundraiser for the programs to raise money for the upcoming year.
“We put this event on each summer as a fundraiser for our running teams,” Walser said. “Our goal for this year was to allow us to purchase warmups for the track teams.”
Despite the heat and humidity of a summer July morning in Lusby, nearly 80 people came to take part in the race this year.
“The event always seems to go smoothly,” Walser said. “I have great support from the Chesapeake Bay Running Club and enough of the team members at Patuxent, so it seems to go well.”
Participants in the event start and finish the race course at Patuxent High School.
“The course starts at Patuxent High School, runs down Southern Connector Boulevard and then crosses over Mill Creek Middle School,” Walser said. “That is where creek in the name of the event comes from. Participants go through the parking lot, then down the back road to the church and then back up to the high school returning the same way as they had left to begin the race.”
Many families enter the race together and Walser noted walkers are welcome to participate as well as people who want to run the course.
“We had runners as well as walkers and a couple people pushing strollers,” Walser said. “The race does have a great family feel which is supported a lot by the help I get from my grandsons. They help me pass out the awards at the end every year. We make it a point to give out awards that are usable such as gift cards from local businesses. I try to get gift cards that are from someplace with frozen treats usually due to the heat we experience during this race.”
Patuxent rising junior Logan Musumeci was the overall top male finisher from the race and finished the course with a time of 19 minutes 17.32 seconds.
“The Race to the Creek 5K overall was a great experience. The opportunity to run my first 5K of the summer offered a much-needed challenge for my preparations of the upcoming season, and being the first to cross the finish line was a wonderful feeling,” Musumeci said. “Though I’d like to specifically point out the environment, being with friends, teammates, and even those who I was just introduced to, everyone cheered for everyone, and it really felt like a community as a whole, that’s really what made the race such a fun event.”
Calvert High School graduate Sydney Friedel, who is headed to run for Johns Hopkins University, was the overall top female finisher with a time of 21:41.28.
“I had to do a five-mile steady state run for my Johns Hopkins training plan, and decided to enter the race to be able to run with others and support the Patuxent team,” Friedel said. “It was a good course and a little challenging with the hills, but overall a really fun race. Everyone was excited to be there and cheer each other on. Coach Walser provided nice T-shirts and local awards, too.”
Walser hopes the event can keep growing in numbers each year based on the positive feedback he receives.
“We have had higher numbers in the past, so that is always a goal since everyone that I ever hear seems to enjoy the atmosphere of the race,” he said.