AVOCA — Alex Becker, pastor of the Langcliffe Presbyterian Church, said he wanted to do an event that was both fun and competitive for Avoca residents.
That’s when for an Easter Egg Hunt 5k came to him.
“It sort of came out of nowhere,” Becker said. “We figured at our church that one of the things we can do to serve God is to serve our community by providing better family friendly activities. That’s here we came up with the idea of a 5k because its open to everyone.”
The 5k will be held on Saturday, March 12 and will cover a course of 3.1 miles throughout the borough.
Runners will start at the intersection of Main and Vine streets and go up William Street before turning onto Plane Street. They will go underneath the Interstate-81 highway and then onto Campbell Street where they will keep running before going onto the pedestrian walkway onto Regulators Lane.
Runners will then head up Spruce Street, turn down South Street and then turn onto Clark Street before heading up Wood Street. They will run up Cherry Streets and onto Spring Street followed by Hawthorne Street, Walnut Street and then concluding on the intersection of Linden and Main street.
Becker said he ran the course himself before finalizing the running pattern to ensure it was safe.
“We’re trying to keep people on roads that are safe,” he said. “We’re only crossing Main Street at one point so people don’t get in the way of traffic, and we’ll have people there to watch that crossing.”
Becker presented the idea of the 5k to the borough council, who were receptive of the idea he said, and that they will make sure the police and fire departments would have members available to help route traffic and keep the runners safe.
The fun part about the run is there will be stations setup after every mile where runners can pick up one egg, and inside each egg is a slip of paper telling runners to how much time to subtract off their finish time.
Becker said some slips may not do anything, and others may even tell runners to add time.
“I’ll probably be mean and put ‘plus one second’ on some of them,” said Becker. “There’s also a gold ticket egg that wins a special prize; that’s classified at this point. You have to be strategic in deciding to stop and pickup an egg because they don’t have to pickup eggs, they can just run if they want to.”
Pre-registration for the event is done online and people can also register the day of the race. Afterwards there will be a pasta lunch.
All proceeds will go towards the Avoca Hose Company and Ruth’s Place Women’s Shelter in Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s not just about giving to the fire department, but raising awareness that they do work for our community and reminding people to chip in for their ambulance membership,” Becker said of his decision on where to donate the proceeds to. “Ruth’s Place, some churches in Avoca came together this past Christmas to put presents together for this shelter, and that’s what sort of brought it to mind for me. They are transitioning to a bigger and better facility and we want to help them in that transition.”
Becker said he hopes to have at least 50 runners come race day and that people have already signed up.
Depending on how the event goes, Becker hopes to make the Easter Egg Hunt 5k an annual event.
“I think we’ve already seen a great response and I fully intend on doing something like this again,” he said. “The best outcome to me is we raise support and awareness for these two places (the Avoca Hose Company and Ruth’s Place) and we bring the community together. People can come together and Avoca can become and even friendlier community than it already is.”