25-hour race honors memory of McQuaid runner - Catholic Courier

25-hour race honors memory of McQuaid runner

BRIGHTON — To prepare for McQuaid Jesuit’s annual 25-hour-long relay race, cross-country coach Todd Stewart reminds his runners that while they can take a break during the race after running a mile, the beneficiaries of their annual fundraiser do not have the same luxury.

"We’re talking about people who have battled through Lou Gehrig’s (disease) or cancer, where there are no time-outs," Stewart said.

This year’s 25-hour relay was held from 11 a.m. Aug. 18 until noon Aug. 19 in McQuaid’s DiMarco Field House in memory of Pete Glavin, a top McQuaid cross-country and track runner and 1980 McQuaid graduate who died of cancer this past April. After graduation, Glavin helped coach cross-country and track for the school and ran the annual McQuaid Invitational, which became one of the largest scholastic cross-country meets in the nation.

Proceeds from the 25-hour relay race, which are still being tallied but so far top $2,000, have been earmarked for the college funds of Glavin’s children, Donovan and Shauna.

Glavin was a fixture on the local running scene and founded the Genesee Valley Harriers Running Club. He was recently honored by the national organization USA Track and Field, Stewart said. Additionally, he will be recognized at the Inaugural Pete Glavin Upstate XC Series Race Sept. 26 at Mendon Ponds Park. In recognition of Glavin’s years running the McQuaid Invitational, a new award that bears his name will be presented during the event to the top finisher from a Jesuit high school.

"He was always so laid-back but always in control," Stewart said. "To be honest, I don’t know if anybody could put meets on like Pete."

Stewart said McQuaid’s cross-country and track programs have been hit hard by the loss of Glavin and Tony Canali, a guidance counselor and indoor track coach who died in 2009. Last year’s relay benefitted Canali’s young daughter, Jordyn.

Runners raised the money for the 25-hour relay through pledges collected from their fellow classmates and neighbors.

"We meet as a team and go door to door fundraising before the relay," said Chris Dunne, a senior from Honeoye Falls. "We are split in groups so we can see who has raised the most money. The actual relay is fun too. We sleep a little. We play volleyball."

Runners typically complete more than 250 miles during the race, which acts as a way for their team to bond before the start of the cross-country season, Stewart noted. When they are not running, teammates spend their downtime playing games, bonding and cheering each other on.

"At 1 a.m., that’s when the going gets extra tough," Stewart said. "Guys are not just physically tired, but they are mentally exhausted."

Students say although the relay is long, time spent together makes it fun.

"It’s a team-building experience — the whole process of fundraising and coming here and running," said Wyatt Gouldthorpe, a senior from Fairport, who also took part in an Irondequoit run in Glavin’s honor in the spring.

Stewart said the relay’s 25-hour length demonstrates the dedication of students.

"We go the extra hour," Stewart said. "It’s like the saying go the extra mile. For us it is literal."

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