Runners in this year’s Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon broke two records this year: the number of athletes and the amount of money raised for charity.
The marathon, held in September, collected $10,000 for a local fund that provides scholarships for the children or grandchildren of members of the armed forces who were killed or significantly wounded in action since Sept. 11, 2001. The Marine Corps League Nittany Leathernecks detachment started the Col. Russell Scholarship Fund about two years ago in honor of Gerald Russell’s 90th birthday.
Mike Casper, founder and director of the race, said about 600 runners participated in this year’s event, including 81 ultramarathon runners and 91 relay teams. Each year, a different charitable organization is selected to receive some proceeds from the race, money that comes from a combination of event fees and donations.
The amount raised this year far exceeded the record $3,000 raised by the prior year’s race. “We always pick a local cause and we’ve been wanting to do something to recognize the work that our veterans have been doing for us, and to be able to do it in a local way was something that was important to us,” Casper said.
Glenn Moyer, chairman of the fund’s board of trustees, said the marathon’s contribution brings the fund to more than $40,000.
“It’s a really beautiful contribution,” Moyer said. “They worked really hard.”