Participants in the first-ever Forest City Trail Trot and Community Walk.

Participants in the first-ever Forest City Trail Trot and Community Walk.

Despite dreary weather conditions, the first-ever Forest City Trail Trot and Community Walk proved to be a fun and successful day.

The event was organized by the Greater Forest City Business Alliance and named in honor of Donny Teague, a long-time resident and well-known runner in Forest City who passed away in January.

Teague was also a supporter and statistician for the Forest City Regional Cross-Country team for more than 20 years. He was committed to the success of those student athletes and made sure each team member had the support they needed to cross the finish line.

At last month’s race, organizers were heartened to see Forest City alumni runners who came out to support the event and honor Teague. They offer a special thanks to Ed Osburn, the former cross country coach at Forest City Regional and a good friend of Teague’s. His support very much helped drive this event.

Moving forward, the intent is to officially name the race, the “Teague Trail Trot.” Next year’s event is scheduled for May 13.

In line with Teague’s joy of running in, around and through Forest City and beyond, funds raised from this race will support projects connecting local commerce to our region’s outdoor experience. Forest City received a grant in 2021 through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and matched by the Forest City Borough and Rail Trail Council of NEPA.

This grant allowed Forest City to create an Action Team — made up of many members across several organizations — to participate in a program called “Outdoor Towns.” The purpose of this initiative was to take a close look at the natural resources and assets we are surrounded by and identify any barriers to marketing and connecting Forest City to them.

Projects that can help to support Forest City as a wonderful place to live, work and play are being identified and considered. We have an amazing “Big Backyard” that can help to support and grow our area. So, fFunds from this race are earmarked to support this initiative. It is estimated that close to $4,000 was raised from this year’s Trail Trot.

The race drew 55 participants in total, who either hit the trail for the 5K or half-mile out-and-back distance. The top male finisher was David Schweitzer, with a time of 20:23. Kristen Majdec took the top female spot with a time of 25:45. To see the full race results by age group, visit Forest City Trail Trot results on runsignup.com.

A special thanks to the following groups for your race day support, as without your presence and active participation, this first-time event could not have happened: Rail Trail Council of NEPA, Cynthia Weiss and Forest City Regional Student Council members, Forest City Emergency Services, Clifford Fire Department, Scranton Running Company, DJ Dennis Sosa and members of the GFCBA Fundraising Committee.

Finally, we would like to thank our incredible sponsors, who came forward with donations to ensure the success of our fundraising efforts. Without them, our First Annual Trail Trot would not have occurred.

Mountain Level Sponsor: Forest City Marketplace

Big Backyard Level Sponsor: Leeward Construction and Pioneer Construction.

Small Town Level Sponsor: Wayne Memorial Health System, Crystal Clear Pools, Kartri Sales, McAndrew Law Offices, Frugal Living LLC, William H. Wolfe Jr., Comprehensive Physical Therapy, Grimm Construction, Genco Dental Care, KW Oil Co., Red Dragon Karate, Zazzera’s, Don Franceski Flooring and East Coast Specialties.

Community Level Donations: Pleasant Mount Welding, Cornerstone Bible Church, Regal Plumbing and Heating, NEP Telephone, Senator Lisa Baker, Clifford Home and Auto Center, Forest City Lions Club, The Forest City News, Kresock Insurance Agency, Burning Bush Cafe, Christ Episcopal Church and Blueprint Benefits Group.

In-Kind Donations: Kelley’s Salon, Fitzsimmon’s Insurance and The Beacon Bar & Grill.