The 13th annual Run4Sam is back this year with a 4-mile run/2-mile walk that participants can join virtually or in person along the Union Canal towpath on August 15. The Run4Sam is an annual race that raises funds to give back to the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department and other local charities in honor of Samuel Brooklyn Reed.
Reed was a former Schuylkill Valley High School cross country runner who was attending the University of Pittsburgh when he was killed by a hit-and-run drunken driver on Sept. 1, 2007. This year’s event includes a 4-mile race, a 2-mile walk and a Kids Fun Run for children 12 and under that starts at Gring’s Mill and runs along the Tulpehocken Creek.
“We are so pleased to be able to hold our event this year, although we made the decision to eliminate the 10k race and make a few other changes due to COVID concerns,” said Peggy Reed, race director and Sam’s mother. “It allows us to continue Sam’s legacy with our mission of “giving back” to the park systems and the local community”.
The Run4Sam event is held at Gring’s Mill and helps to fund many of the major projects at the Berks County Park. In past years the proceeds supported a grant for riparian installations, funded the construction of two portage ramps and a large pavilion, supplied AEDs for the parks and bike rangers and gifted many of the flowering Redbuds, Dogwoods and Hydrangea trees.
In addition to supporting the park system, Run4Sam also funds a scholarship and supports other local charities. Reed said this year’s race will also support the Greater Reading Alliance of Community Theaters, The Literacy Council of Reading-Berks and Grey Muzzle Manor.
The 4-mile race will begin at 9:30 a.m., rain or shine, followed by the 2-mile walk at 9:45 a.m. and the Kids Fun Run at the conclusion of both races. Medals will be awarded to the top overall male/female finishers and the top three male/females in each age group. Runners participating virtually are asked to run their own 4-mile route by August 7 and send their results to email@example.com by August 10. Runners and walkers will receive a T-shirt, while supplies last, or can opt to have those funds go to the park. Fun Run and virtual participants will not receive T-shirts or awards.
Entry information and applications can be found at run4sam.net or on the Run4Sam Facebook page. Online registration is available at pretzelcitysports.com until August 12. On-site registration is also available starting at 8 a.m. on race day.