Polk coach begins 21st Run-A-Thon to raise funds for teams

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, January 14, 2010

Polk County head coach Alan Peoples is back to pounding the pavement in his annual 100-mile run to raise funds for the Wolverine track and field and cross country teams.
Even though Polk County is generous with its funds to sponsor athletics, it is not enough. This school year the school system is like all other entities; there are many needs and only a few dollars for the bare necessities.
Monies allocated for the running teams have to be stretched to provide uniforms, equipment, travel, and expenses. This year the decisions on how to spend the money are particularly difficult.
Faced with a safety issue, for example, Polk County opted to provide funds for a new pole vault pole for Bryan Lieberman, a star vaulter whose safety would have been jeopardized otherwise.
He has already vaulted 14 and is seeded in a tie for number one in the whole state. He did this on a pole he borrowed at the meet in Virginia. On the other hand, a portion of travel expenses-motels and food in particular-will have to be shouldered by the athletes and their families.
During cross-country the teams had thirty-six high school runners and fourteen middle school runners. To reduce the financial strain for these students, Coach Peoples reduced the number of Cross Country competitions for the high school by three.
This year the teams did not attend the meet at Furman, the meet at North Henderson, the second overnight meet in Greensboro, or the meet at Franklin. The high school added the meet at Marion. The middle school was reduced by one meet; they had a home meet; and Coach Peoples scheduled the pre-conference for the middle school and the conference for the high school on the same day at the same location, and thus were able to use only one bus.
Indoor Track has begun and there are seventy runners on the varsity teams. The middle school does not have Indoor Track. The schedule includes four meets at home and three meets away. Last year there were four meets at home and five meets away.
When the high school teams goes to big away track meets, they must spend the night. These big meets give the participants exposure to great competition. More importantly, they give them a chance to compete at great indoor facilities where the teams get great times, distances and heights. This is costly and the runners parents must pay for the motel and the food.
The school pays the entry fees, the diesel fuel, and the coaching staff. The staff must also raise funds to pay their own expenses this year. The teams are running out of the funds that Coach Peoples raised last year. There is usually a cushion with which to begin indoor track; however, it is almost all gone at this time because of expenses.
Please donate what you can afford to help the running teams. Coach Peoples will run 100 miles for the team. He has already begun, and as of the 2nd of January, he has run thirty-six miles. The runners have been told that if they raise $100 they will have their $35 fee for the next overnight trip to liberty university waived. They will still have to pay for two or three meals on the trip.
Lest you think the teams are spending unwisely let Coach Peoples tell you what they got for the $35 at the December meets. They got Subway for dinner on Friday, a motel room at Holiday Inn Express on Friday night, breakfast on Saturday morning, and CiCis Pizza on Saturday for dinner. Also, the teams share the bus with the Indoor Track teams from Hendersonville High School, and Hendersonville pays for half of the diesel fuel for the trip.
Coach Peoples asks that you please help the runners by making a donation to the teams for use by the running teams. Please make checks payable to PCHS-track team.

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