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Local youth club receives national award

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Submitted photo – HRRAY board members after receiving the award on Saturday.

By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Redwood Running Association for Youth (HRRAY) got some national recognition over the weekend for  its contributions to youth running here on the North Coast.

Last summer, HRRAY was named Road Runners Club of America’s National Youth Club of the Year for 2020.

On Saturday morning, the club officially received the trophy at the Arcata Redwood Park.

“We were so excited when we heard,” one of the club’s founders, Jack West, said when they received word about the award. 

West founded the club 10 years ago along with College of the Redwoods cross country and track and field head coach Reed Elmore, and Blue Lake teacher and running coach Sara Elie, to help promote youth running in the area.

And it has certainly worked, with the number of participants significantly growing in recent years.

In the fall of 2019, more than 500 runners signed up for the youth cross country season, with at least 400 on hand at each of the six races.

“It’s pretty impressive that many schools are involved now,” West said.

And that’s not the only impact HRRAY has had on local youth sports.

The club also helps host a number of youth track and field meets each spring.

The club had to wait to receive the award because of the pandemic, which also forced the cancelation of the 2020 youth cross country season.

File photo – More than 500 young runners signed up for the 2019 local youth cross country season

During the shutdown, HRRAY offered a virtual 2020 cross country season with 125 runners participating. 

Recently, the club added Alysia Davidson from Trinidad and Davita McGoldrick from Jacoby Creek to the HRRAY Board.

According to a press release, HRRAY wants to thank everyone in the Six Rivers Running Club “because your support has been a terrific benefit to building this youth program for Humboldt County.”

Please check the HRRAY website and Facebook and Instagram pages for updates of their modified in-person 2021 track and field season, which is planned for May.

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