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Harpers Ferry Half Marathon returns

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | May 21, 2021

Mile markers could be found throughout Bolivar and Harpers Ferry, marking the locations for runners in the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon. Toni Milbourne

HARPERS FERRY — After a cancellation in 2020 of the popular Harpers Ferry Half Marathon, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, organizers have decided to bring back the event this year.

“We had a cap on the number of runners with COVID restrictions,” said Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, organizer of the event. “We had 250 runners in the half marathon and 50 in the 5K.”

The half marathon offered a challenging course covering the expanse of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, through the towns adjacent and incorporated within the park.

The half marathon course included passage through School House Ridge South, the Murphy Farm, Lower Town Harpers Ferry and includes beautiful views of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers.

The 5K included a mix of trail, road and historical ruins for those who chose to participate in the shorter of the events.

“It was a great day, so many people out there happy and joyful to be able to have a participatory event again,” Cucuzzella said.

The race draws many local individuals, but also brings in people from near and far. Runners traveled from adjoining states and even farther to take part in the continuation of an event that kicks off the running season for many.

The thrill of running motivates many in and of itself, but it is always exciting to be in the top finishers of such an event.

Taking top honors at the finish line overall were Brody Ruffner of Woodstock, Md., Nelson Mael of Winchester, Va. and Nicole Wright of Falls Church, Va. Finishing the top three in the male specific category was Mark Neff of Derwood, Md. Bree Gaster finished second for the females with Cammie Farsey, of Berryville, Va., completing the female top three.

Not to be outdone, Liam Myers, Hannah Phillips and Erika Weshinskey took the top three finishing spots of for the annual 5K race.

“It is a beautiful course in Harpers Ferry,” Cucuzzella said, as he once again expressed what a positive experience it is to be doing an event in person once again.