In many cases, a rivalry can be so intense that it often brings out the worse in people.
But last weekend at the Blue Water Rivalry Run, sportsmanship and common bonds were the theme.
Around 300 runners participated in the event at Marysville High School, which raised money for St. Clair County schools. A 5K and one-mile fun run were held.
Thirteen-year-old Jack Pennewell was the overall winner, completing the 5K in 18 minutes, 40.1 seconds. Andrea Karl was the overall winner of the female 5K (19:16.9).
“I think it went really well,” organizer and Marysville High School team Christine Shigley said. “We had close to 300 participants, which is pretty good for a first-year event and on a Sunday morning. Through sponsors and registration, we were able to give away thousands of dollars to local schools.
“Then we had a grand prize for the district with the most participants and we gave them a $2,000 check.”
That check went to the Marysville School District, which had over 100 participants. But everyone benefited, as participants were able to donate part of their entry fee to their school of choice.
“It’s a nice fundraiser for schools,” Shigley said. “Everybody that signed up for it could choose where they wanted their money to go. A portion of the registration went to the schools. Some chose the high school or the middle school. The $10 registration donation is separate from the overall prize. It was nice. I wish it would have been a little bigger.”
For some, the decision of what school to donate to was a tough choice.
“I think it was a great idea,” said Marine City graduate Andrea Karl, who now teaches special education in Yale. “It’s getting a lot of community support and the money goes to the schools. It was a tough choice for me. Some people from Marine City were asking me who I was running for.
“I wanted to make a contribution on both sides. It’s fun knowing the money is going to a really good cause.”
It was easy to know what side everyone was on by the T-shirt they wore for the event. As part of the registration fee, each participant received a T-shirt displaying the name of his or her school district.
“The event was a huge success and was able to help out several districts,” Yale cross country coach Greg Whitican said. “I think this event, along with a few others that benefit school districts are huge.”
Shigley is already thinking ahead to next year, where she hopes the event will continue to grow.
“I would love to keep this going and make it a yearly event,” Shigley said. “I’m considering changing the venue every year. It’s all about the St. Clair County School District but I’m thinking about moving it from city to city.
“I think it would be a neat idea and keep people on board from the various districts. Most of the people that spoke to me about it had very good things to say. Everyone who did it really liked the idea.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.