PARA Helps Out at the
2012 Black Moshannon 5K and 10K Race

Posted 28-May-2012

Once again PARA members were on hand to help out with communications at the Black Moshannon 5K & 10 K Race/Walk on Saturday May 26t, 2012. This event is held at Black Moshannon State Park and is a fund raising effort of the Moshannon Valley YMCA in Philipsburg.

Ham radio volunteers helping out at the race included Bernie Ropchock W3BAR, John Szwarc N3SPW, Rich Brnik KB3QKR, Jim Whited K3RJW, Chuck McMullen K3CM and Dick Thompson K3BIE. The ham radio volunteers were stationed at various locations along the routes. In addition to providing communications, they also called out runners elapsed time as they passed by. This helps the runners pace themselves as they progress through the course.

Both the 5 kilometer and the 10 kilometer races start at precisely the same time, but from different locations within the park. Radio communications was the only way to coordinate the starting time, as well as report back to the staging area with any requests for medical assistance or other issues. Cellular telephone service in the park is largely unavailable due to the rugged terrain. This makes the communications assistance provided by amateur radio essential for race organizers to successfully coordinate this event.

Due to the reconstruction of the bridge at the bottom of Huckleberry Hill, the 10K race route was modified for this year. The course started on Black Moshannon Run Road at the breast of the dam, proceeding 1.4 miles down the traditional course and turned around. The route then returned on the same road and made a right turn onto Route 504. One-tenth of a mile ahead the route turned left at the 5-K starting line on West Side Road. At this point, the route followed the traditional 5-K course to the same designated finish areas.

Thank you to all the PARA members who helped make this public service event a success. Events like this hep PARA, and the amateur radio community, show others how amateur radio helps the public and what it means to be a ham radio operator.


Pictured left to right are Jim K3RJW, John N3SPW, Dick K3BIE, Frances Thompson, Bernie W3BAR, Chuck K3CM and Rich KB3QKR.

Racers assembled and ready to start.

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