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WEST CHESTER — It may be the last weekend of March, but that didn’t stop Mother Nature from dropping a few flakes of snow on St. Agnes School’s annual 5K Saturday morning.
Hundreds of runners and walkers braved the cold temperatures in support of the school.
“We had a fabulous turnout,” said Sister Joan O’Reilly, principal of the school. “We had over 260 registered ahead of a time and at least 70 more showed up today. A terrific and a great day for a race.”
Despite the chill in the air, O’Reilly was more than thrilled the race was held at the end of the month instead of what it had been before.
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“We’ve had it on the first week of March before and this year, it would have been 10 inches of snow,” she said. “We’re happy to have a beautiful day with sunshine. Runners run in the cold.”
Though not all of them preferred it, such as John McGinnis, a 1986 alumni of St. Agnes.
“A lot of people prefer it like this, but I don’t,” he said. “I like it hotter. I’d rather it be 80 or 85 degrees.”
Regardless of the weather, McGinnis wasn’t going to miss the race.
“I’ve run it every time,” he said.” I live right down the street and it runs past my house.”
Seeing alumni returning to take part in the event and continue to give back to the school puts a smile on O’Reilly’s face.
“We love to have our alumni come back and enjoy some time together and catch up with old friends,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have the fabulous support of our parent volunteers at the school who take care of all of the details.”
Aside from helping the school, the event is about bringing together the community and, most especially, the families of St. Agnes.
“We really do this for the fun of it and for the families to enjoy and spend some time together and do something healthy,” O’Reilly said. “Every school has to have a healthy futures plan and so this is a great was to do that as well. We invite the families out to have fun, run and just enjoy the day together.”
This year’s run is more special to the St. Agnes family as they send thoughts and prayers to one of their own.
“Today, we are praying for Joe Breslin, who is one of our alumni parents who has been organizing the race for the three years,” O’Reilly said. “Joe had surgery this week for a brain tumor. We’re shouting out to Joe. He’s with us in spirit today and we know he’ll get better soon.”