(Reprinted from Tara Murray's Column in The Centre Daily Times, January 4, 2007)

Gilkes, Donaghue Claim wins in local race

The 10th annual First Night State College 5K Resolution Run saw a record turnout, as well as new men's and women's course records. The race has grown every year since its beginning on New Year's Eve 1997 with about 130 participants, and has seen weather ranging from frigid to unseasonably warm. This year's race drew more than 600 registrations on a mild, rainy night.

The course started at the intersection of College Avenue and Allen Street, right at the heart of First Night State College festivities. From there, runners made two loops through the Penn State campus, finishing on College Avenue in front of rows of cheering spectators.  Scattered rain showers and warm temperatures were already taking their toll on the ice sculptures in downtown State College during the First Night celebration, but runners faced only a light drizzle at the 6:30 p.m. start. The precipitation did not dampen spectators' enthusiasm. In addition to the crowds on College Avenue, smaller groups gathered to cheer all along the course.

As usual, the Resolution Run drew a diverse crowd, including several families running together and many runners in costume. The prize for best costume went to a woman dressed as a bee. A Christmas tree, several cats, Popeye, and Ike the Spike, the State College Spikes mascot, also completed the course.

Artie Gilkes, a former Penn State runner and current Penn State assistant track and cross country coach, won the men's race in 15:15, setting a course record. Erik Scott of State College was second among men in 16:31 and Jud Brooker of Spring Mills was third in 16:51. Rebecca Donaghue, girls' cross country coach at State College High School, won the women's race and set a course and event record in 16:29. Meghan Mason of State College was second in 18:48 and Meira Minard, also of State College, was third in 19:25. Patrick Singletary of State College won the men's masters title in 17:29. Tom Cali, also of State College, was second in 17:38. Pat Keating of Dayton, Maryland was the first masters woman in 20:53, and Evelynn Ellis of State College was second in 21:34.

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