In 1977, a group formed, Cherokee Road Runners Association, of like-minded running enthusiasts who met up by Hogan’s Fountain to run together throughout Cherokee and Seneca Parks. “The running craze was taking a big jump at that time,” Bill Scearce, long-time CRRA member said. “We would meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings to run together; some fast runners, some walkers, and those at every level in between,” Scearce added.
Once a 700-member group, the Cherokee Road Runners put on races such as The Hangover Classic, The Tumbleweed and a marathon every October. However the cost of hosting these races became too hefty and the group dwindled.
This year, Cherokee Road Runners Association decided to take money they had saved and donate it to benefit runners and walkers. After much brainstorming they determined a gift towards Cherokee and Seneca Parks where the group has run for 36 years was the perfect fit. “What better place to give our money, where it will benefit the runners and the parks that we have spent so much time in,” stated Bill Scearce.
Since Olmsted Parks Conservancy raises funds to improve the Frederick Law Olmsted Parks including Cherokee and Seneca Parks, CRRA determined that’s were their donation should go. “We decided to give to the Conservancy to share the benefit of our gift with runners and walkers of the future,” Scearce said.
The generous donation will help improve most water fountains in Cherokee and Seneca Parks. The first phase of the project is to replace the water fountain near the playground in Seneca Park. A new freeze-proof fountain will be installed this fall and the area around it will be freshened up and mulched. The water fountain won’t freeze in the bitter winters for those dedicated runners who continue their training and need to stay hydrated.
Olmsted Parks Conservancy is thrilled to be working with the Cherokee Road Runners Association and love their enthusiasm for making a mark on the parks for years to come!