Mr Haney the Race Promoter

By: Jim Woolfitt


Join us in Fairmont, WV, Friday, July 26 for an evening of running and fun.  Our 15th Annual Run to Read Races will be held at the East – West Stadium / 12th Street Pool complex.

The schedule is as follow:

·         5:30pm same day registration / packet pickup

·         6:30 pm 10K

·         6:40 pm 1600 meter track run

·         7:00 pm pool opens

·         7:30 pm 5K run & 5K race walk

The 10K is two loops of the 5K course. Both the 10K and the 5K will finish with a ¾ lap on the track at East – West Stadium ending at the 50 yard line. The 1600 meter run will be 4 laps on the track.

The exclusive pool party is free to all runners, walkers and their families, courtesy of the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission (MCPARC). MCPARC will furnish lifeguards. Post race refreshments and award presentations will be at the pool. If a run followed by a swim is not enough enticement, we offer short sleeve tech shirts as the swag.

This event benefits Literacy Volunteers of Marion County, a United Way agency and a 501©(3) entity. Entering a 2nd race costs an extra $5. The 10K & 5K are events #2 and #3 of the Run to Read Triple Crown. (Event #1 is the half marathon which is held annually in January.) More information about this soirée may be found at

I used to feel like Mr. Haney, the old curmudgeon who appeared on the 60’s tv show Green Acres, when I tried to promote events. This was especially true when I would attempt to hand out forms at other local races. “May I interest you in a race?” Mr. Haney would sell the Green Acres’s protagonist, Mr. Douglas, different items on different episodes such as a farm of dubious value, the farm house fixtures (which Mr. Haney stripped from the house he had just sold to Mr. Douglas prior to the Douglas’s arrival) & the Douglas’s own furniture which Mr. Haney intercepted before it was delivered to the Douglas’s new abode.

Recently watching some clips on youtube, I remembered how much I disliked Green Acres when it was new. I like happy endings. I don’t ever remember any happy endings on Green Acres.  Don Knotts may have often appeared comical as Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show but at least he was not constantly humiliated as was poor Mr. Douglas. I still don’t appreciate Green Acres after seeing it again on youtube.

I have decided it may be a disservice to this event &the event’s beneficiary, Literacy Volunteers of Marion County (LVMC) to identify with Mr. Haney, that rascal. We try hard to put on a well organized event. The 10K & 5K courses will not be certified this year but they will be wheel measured. If we detect no problems with the new courses, we’ll have those certified before the 16th annual edition.

We have individuals who volunteer year round as tutors and/or board members. LVMC provides free one on one tutoring to adults and children in reading, math and ESL (English as a second language). We work closely with the Marion County Adult Ed Center’s GED class.

One of our very best volunteers has served our organization for over 15 years as a tutor and either president or vice president of the board of directors. Not a runner, this great-grandmother has shown up regularly to supervise the post race food beginning with our first race in 1999. Veteran runners look for her homemade fruit filled cookies. We’ll have hot dogs & fruit to go along with the baked goods, too.

Paraphrasing the Beatles from “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”:

“Messrs Cummings & Woolfitt assure the public their production (Run to Read 10K/5K) will be second to none….

Having been some weeks in preparation, a splendid time (on July 26) is guaranteed for all”






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