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County has great parks for running

Butler County has some great parks for running and racing.

But as I post my calendar listings, I notice that Allegheny County’s North Park is probably the most popular location in the area for running, both for events and in general. I ran my first race in North Park more than 30 years ago, a half marathon of two loops around North Park Lake associated with the Pittsburgh Magazine Marathon.

Since then, I can’t count the number of times I’ve circled that 5-mile scenic loop alone or with hundreds of competitors, in all weather and at all times of the day or night. And I’m sure I’ve covered as many or more miles on the park’s extensive trail system.

North Park is one of nine Allegheny County Parks established in 1927. At 3,094 acres, it’s the largest by more than 1,000 acres. North Park Lake, stocked for fishing since 1940, is the largest man-made body of water in Allegheny County. The early park included a game preserve at Flagstaff Hill where bison roamed under the watch of members of the Blackfeet Nation. But the park we know today is thanks to work by Civilian Conservation Corps encamped in North Park in the Great Depression and New Deal investments’ projects by Works Progress Administration.

Both Marshall and North Park Lakes, as well as the popular Boathouse were constructed in the late 1930’s. North Park Swimming Pool, opened in 1938, was the second largest public swimming pool in the world at the time.

Although many of North Park’s landmarks are well known and well used, some, like the Fountain of Youth, Oakdene and Ledgewood shelters, are hidden treasures accessible only on foot. Visit for historical information and maps of some of the lesser-known park landmarks. You can explore North Park’s roads and trails yourself by downloading a trail map or through Parks Trails mobile app.

.If you’d rather not go into the woods alone, join one of North Park Trail Runners’ many social runs for all abilities. Check their schedule at There are also events by GCXC Race Timing scheduled for the next two weekends in the park.

This Saturday at 9 a.m., join the inaugural running of Memorial Day Remembrance 5k & 10k Run/1-Mile Walk for gentle out and back runs from North Park Boathouse to Lake Shore Drive. The event is held in partnership with Veterans Leadership Program which supports veterans with housing, wellness and support needs.

All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt and finisher’s medal. There are also competitive awards in the 5k and 10k distances, including awards for first male and female veterans. And all proceeds from the event stay in the area to benefit Western PA veterans.

On June 2 at 8 a.m., South Ridge Trail Challenge offers plenty of off-road choices for trail runners. There are 5k, 10k and 20k races beginning at North Park Pool area and exploring the elevation changes of the South Ridge Plateau. South Ridge Challenge has been run annually since 2020. This year, organizers are changing it up by reversing the course for all distances. The 20k consists of two laps of the 10k course. Runners on the 20k must complete the 10k split in 2 hours to continue on. All participants in South Ridge Challenge earn a commemorative 6-pack sized cooler and a finisher’s medal.

There are also competitive awards in each distance for top three overall and age group finishers from 12 and under through 70+. Volunteers are also being accepted for both the Memorial Day 5k and South Ridge Challenge. Visit the respective sites for volunteer opportunities and registration.

Upcoming Events

Friday, 7 p.m.: Fryburg Mayfest Fun Run/Walk 5k, Fryburg.

Saturday, 9 a.m..: Memorial Day Remembrance 5k/10k Run & 1-Mile Walk, Allison Park. Starts at Pearce Mill Road in North Park.

Sunday, 9 a.m.: Dahoga Dash, Wilcox. 814-512-1374 or

June 1, 7 a.m.: God’s Country Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay, Galeton. 814-558-5353 or

June 1, 9 a.m.: Freeport Flash 10k & 5k Run/Walk, Sarver. Run on Butler-Freeport Community Trail begins at Monroe Road trailhead.

June 1, 9 a.m.: Sarris Candies Run for Alex, Bentleyville. Choice of 5-mile loop or 2-mile out and back. 724-747-2865 or

June 2, 8 a.m.: South Ridge Trail Challenge 5k, 10k, 20k, Allison Park. Run on North Park trails.

June 2, 8:30 a.m.: Greenfield Glide 5k, Pittsburgh. Run through Schenley Park. 412-328-0190 or

June 5, 6:30 p.m.: Fleet Feet Big Run 5k and 1k Little Big Run, Pittsburgh. Run at Schenley Park Oval Sportsplex.

June 6, 6:30 p.m.: 32nd Annual Gateway Track Mile, Monroeville. $0 entry fee, 5 heats, homemade candy awards. 412-372-3212 or

June 8, 8 a.m.: Old Turnpike Half Marathon, Waterfall. Run out and back on section of old PA Turnpike through the 3rd and 5th longest bike trail tunnels in USA.

June 8, 9 a.m.: High Street Body Shop 5k, Ebenburg. Also High Skids Dash.

June 8, 9 a.m.: 5th Annual Monroeville CommUNITY Day 5k, Monroeville.

June 9, 9 a.m.: Big Foot Festival 5k Run and Walk, Marienville.

June 15, 5 p.m.: Hoyt Color Run/Walk 5k, New Castle.

June 16, 9 a.m.: Run Like an Animal 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk, Hermitage. Starts at Linden Pointe, benefits local animal shelter.

June 21, 7 p.m.: New River Gorge Trail Festival, Fayetteville, WV. Run 5k on Friday, half marathon on Saturday or both on New River Gorge National Park trails.

June 22, 9 a.m.: 48th Annual Butler Road Race 5 Mile and 2k, Butler. Run downtown presented by Butler YMCA and Independence Health System.

June 22, 9 a.m.: Butch’s Bucket Brigade 5k and kids Bike Race, Worthington. Bike race for kids 12 and under starts at 11 A.M. 724-464-3420 or

June 29, 9 a.m.: Ellwood City Arts & Crafts Food Festival 10k, Ellwood City. Formerly Ellwood City Ledger 10k.

June 30, 6 a.m.: Hell Hath No Hurry, Pittsburgh. Run 10k, 30k, 50k or 50 Miles on Settler’s Cabin Park trails.

Race results

MKG Half Marathon, March 30: Jason Guthrie, 1st Overall M, 1:19:36; Jammie Clark, 1st Overall W, 1:46:05; John Armstrong, 2nd 50-59 M, 1:45:16; Vanessa Johnson, 1st 30-39 W, 1:58:58; Quinn Adams, 2nd 20-29 W, 2:11:08; Sean Voorhees, 2:43:46 Dyngus Dash 5k, April 13: Lee Marshall, 1st Overall M, 19:15; Holly Howanitz, 1st Overall W, 22:40; Megan Koraly, 1st 50-59 W, 25:50; Gemma Fratto, 1st 10-14 W, 33:31; Mitch Radella, 26:06; Tim Nicola, 27:06; Sam Loevner, 27:53; Jason George, 28:04; Rachel Cunningham, 31:07; Angeline Mozer, 32:35; Shawna Hardy-Emerson, 32:36; Isabella Fratto, 33:31; Danielle Wiles, 46:58; Michael Slater, 46:59; Stephanie Shoup, 51:55; Marie Nesser, 52:56; Carol Dowling, 52:58; Joanne Strugalski, 55:07; Georgiana Julkowski, 55:33; Kathy Osiecki, 55:34; Cathleen McGonigle, 1:03:11; Roseann Budday, 1:05:43

Boston Trail Half Marathon, April 13: Will Loevner, 1st Overall M, 1:07:48; Troy Reinsel, 2nd Overall M, 1:19:44; Emma Patterson, 2nd Overall W, 1:37:17; Emily Hrach, 3rd Overall W, 1:47:26; Ethan Hrach, 2nd 19 & Under M, 1:39:06; Josh Gretz, 2nd 40-44 M, 1:39:10; Joseph Kulbacki, 2nd 55-59 M, 2:03:03; Marlee Osche, 3rd 25-29 W, 2:42:14; Jacob Woods, 2:02:06; Chris Lufkin, 2:45:30; Elijah Gretz, 3:15:47; Jenn Tompkins, 3:22:03

Boston Trail 5k, April 13: Wil Bailey, 1st Overall M, 18:08; Ainsleigh Stickle, 1st Overall W, 23:45; Catherine Hrach, 1st Masters W, 25:31

Run to Breathe Half Marathon, April 21: Dean Banko, 1st Overall M, 1:22:52; Robyn McGowan, 1st Overall W, 1:39:42; Brett Gwynn, 1st 25-29 M, 1:25:54; Keenan Barlow, 3rd 25-29 M, 1:39:11; John Armstrong, 2nd 55-59 M, 1:45:34; Matt Reagle, 3rd 35-39 M, 1:50:57; Carrie Birckbichler-Smith, 2nd 45-49 W, 1:53:05; Brady Beech, 2nd 30-34 M, 1:55:17; Dana Nicklas, 1st 50-54 W, 1:55:28; Bernadette Lewis, 3rd 50-54 W, 1:56:31; Bob Monahan, 1st 45-49 M, 1:57:27 Nicole Hogue, 1st 35-39 W, 1:58:14; John Kuhn, 2nd 45-49 M, 1:59:00; Hannah Beaudoin, 3rd 25-29 W, 2:00:11 Mary White, 1st 60-64 W, 2:05:59; Timothy James, 1:46:50; Jeff Bennett, 1:50:57; Kevin Smetak, 1:52:18; Lindsey Monahan, 1:57:27; Keith Smetak, 2:00:58; Brad Prefling, 2:20:00; Veronica Prefling, 2:20:01; Jennifer Bickel, 2:23:43; Vasilii Surov, 2:24:50; Doug Titchen, 2:29:27; Angela Frazier, 2:30:00; Shawna Hardy-Emerson, 2:51:47; Logan Cummings, 3:05:48; Pamela Beck, 3:10:10; Lori Lower, 3:19:30; Maritza Cable, 3:19:31; Kathy Acquaviva, 3:19:57; Heather Alter, 3:20:14; Christy Thompson, 3:21:46

Run to Breathe 5k, April 21: Dan Kuzma, 1st Overall M, 20:02; Zari Golojuh, 1st Overall W, 21:49; Steven Banks, 1st 35-39 M, 22:25; Jesse Burris, 1st 30-34 M, 25:31; Elliette Smith, 1st 15-19 W, 25:40; Liam Breski, 1st 14 & Under M, 26:07; Jill Takach, 2nd 55-59 W, 26:28; David Suber, 1st 65-69 M, 27:04; Kelsey Burris, 1st 25-29 W, 28:13; John Karpacs, 1st 60-64 M, 29:46; Casey Reiland, 2nd 35-39 M, 30:13; Dianna Craig, 2nd 40-44 W, 31:41; Cindy Suber, 1st 60-64 W, 31:48; Anthony Sunseri, 2nd 70+ M, 32:32; Rachel Cunningham, 1st 30-34 W, 32:42; Kathy Jones, 1st 65-69 W, 32:49; Meagan Summerville, 3rd 40-44 W, 32:49; Paul Johnson, 3rd 70+ M, 33:23; Laura Augustine, 2nd 50-54 W, 34:31; Robin Trinko, 3rd 55-59 W, 34:36; Carol English, 2nd 65-69 W, 39:14; Allison Takac, 2nd 15-19 W, 40:22; Kathy Shoaf, 1st 70+ W, 40:22; Lexie Graham, 2nd 60-64 W, 49:24; Vicki Brendlinger, 3rd 65-69 W, 1:03:06; Jenn Fesler, 31:35 Robyn Fox, 32:44 Jenn Fesler, 31:35; Nastacia McGregor, 35:36; Brian Beals, 36:06; Lincoln Beals, 36:09; Travis Keene, 43:10; Finnigan Keene, 43:15; Angela Nuss, 45:28; Rebecca Leitem, 49:24; Cade Sterrett, 55:41; Jarod Sterrett, 55:50; Jameson Sterrett, 55:54

Venango County CASA Superhero 5k Run, April 23: Matt Reagle, 1st Overall M, 22:02; Danielle Payne, 1st Overall W, 25:07; Jordan Armagost, 1st 18-29 M, 24:59; Anthony Sunseri, 2nd 60+ M, 33:30; Missy Cozad, 43:02; Kenneth Cloonan, 59:00

Send comments and suggestions: Patricia Neubert, phone 724-352-4395, Email

Pat Neubert is a running columnist for the Butler Eagle

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