The Chenoweth Awards, The Lost Key and The Pot Luck Bash (David Yon)

David Yon

Imagine the surprise when ace journalist and Cleveland-Caldwell award winning photographer Herb Wills, discovered the locked gate. Waiting less than a quarter mile away were more than 100 runners, anxious to get the 4-mile prediction race (no watches) started, ready to blast off and charge down the first hill. However, the problem not perceived by the unknowing eye was how to fit all those runners through an opening in the fence that was no wider than a full-sized woman’s hips.

The Pot Luck Bash often comes under the strange influence of a whacky director. An early evening race in the middle of the summer, run on beautiful trails over a course that is never really announced before the race starts by runners who are not allowed to wear a watch. Literally anything seems possible. Many of this year’s participants were still hurting over the loss of Paul Hoover. And somewhere along the way, he got the crazy idea to have all of the runners walk the first mile in tribute to Paul. That mile shrank to a half-mile by race day.

A few hours before Herb discovered the locked gate, a race director was out marking the course and working with volunteers to set up a water table. As race time approached he began worrying there was not enough time to make it back toward the start on time. If you are familiar with the Phipps Park property you know it is guarded by a series of gates. There is a master key that opens enough locks to open every gate. It was this master key that I, I mean the race director, had lost somewhere on the course in his panic to get back to the start on time, leaving him unable to open the locked gate. Not to worry though, because those are the kind of things that make Pot Luck different and maybe even special. And you know, maybe it was coach Hoover who grabbed that key just to emphasize that we all need to find those times when we can appreciate what surrounds us.

So, 100 plus walkers made it through the fence and near the half mile of the race course became runners again. Doug Bell, a member of the race directing team, found the key out on the course after the race was over during cleanup duties. I suspect Coach Paul knew where it was all the time, after all from now on that course will always be Paul’s Trail and the gate will be Hoover Gate in my somewhat whacky mind.

For more on the award winners visit Chenoweth Award Winners