Rain was on the order for the annual Harper Creek Optimist Cross Country Meet held at Harper Creek High School on Saturday August 27th and unlike the tennis invitation the prior month, the event could not be moved to an indoor facility. Eight schools with boys and girls teams participated in the event and four races were scheduled in the following order: Boys Senior and Junior runners, Girls Senior and Junior runners, Boys Sophomore and Freshman runners and Girls Sophomore and Freshman runners. Rain was threatening all morning and half way through the second race the skies opened up and lightening followed. After a 30 minute delay, the storm continued and was in the local forecast for the future couple hours. The event was called off and the runners and fans dispersed.
Hotdogs, chips, candy, apples, fruit drink and water were again provided by our club for all participants and followers. Our two large tents became a popular location for those who stuck around for a snack, but only about half or our purchased food and beverage was consumed. Fortunately we had a recipient for our leftovers. Four hundred thawed precooked hotdogs and buns with condiments, plus bottled water and a half bushel of apples were donated and delivered to the local Haven of Rest Ministries homeless shelter in Battle Creek. A special thanks goes out to Dr. Gary Gymer for again chairing and organizing the event, club member David Linville for delivering all the leftovers to the Haven of Rest and club members who volunteered their Saturday morning to help set-up and serve the food.
The Harper Creek High School Boys Senior and Junior team did win the only race and finishing third for the Beavers was Drew Vanwagner. Landon Melling of Hanover-Horton finished just ahead of his closest competitor to win the race in a time of 16:48.
A number of runners and fans; some with umbrellas and others soaked in rain, waited in line for a snack served by Harper Creek Optimist Club members.