Hague There will not be a Fred LaPann Memorial Road Race in 2012.
The 5-mile race had been held for more than a decade as part of the annual Hague Winter Weekend.
Other events will be held the weekend of Feb. 18 and 19 in Hague, although the schedule is not yet finalized, according to Sal Santaniello, an event organizer.
“We haven’t had much of a turn out the last few years, so there won’t be a LaPann race this year,” Santaniello said. “Maybe if we give it a rest and bring it back next year there will be a renewed interest.”
Santaniello said many members of the local running community are now older and spend their winters in the south, depleting the race field.
Also factoring into the decision is Santaniello’s health. The driving force behind the race, Santaniello recently had back surgery.
“I’m not giving up on it,” Santaniello stressed. “We’ll see what kind of interest we have next year.”
The race started and finished at the Hague fire house, going out-and-back race on West Hague Road.
The race was named for LaPann, an accomplished Hague runner who died in 2001.
“Fred LaPann was very encouraging to the young runners in our schools,” said Dave Rutkowski, the retired cross country and track coach at Ticonderoga High School and a member of the LaChute Road Runners Club.
“Fred was instrumental in the establishment of the LaChute Road Runners, whose primary purpose is to promote running to the youth of our area,” he said.
“He was a great role model, and was always willing to take kids to road races,” Rutkowski added. “He was very challenging to the rest of us by being very fast. We measured our success by how close we were to Fred LaPann at a race. On top of all of this he was humble about his ability. Fred was, and still is, ‘The Champ of Hague.’”