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County to pay for sheriff's department coverage of JFK

Commissioners President John F. Barr also presented a proclamation celebrating the event

September 22, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday that the county again will pay for the county's sheriff's department to provide traffic control and emergency assistance for the annual JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon, scheduled this year for Nov. 20.

Based on past years, officials expect the event to require about 88 hours of sheriff's department coverage at a cost of about $3,960, race director Mike Spinnler said.

The JFK 50 is the largest, oldest and most prestigious ultramarathon in North America, said Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About 1,000 participants, starting at either 5 or 7 a.m., traverse a 50-mile course from Boonsboro to Williamsport over the Appalachian Trail, C&O Canal towpath and paved roads, finishing no later than 7 p.m.

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"This brings great publicity for Washington County, a lot of economic impact and a tremendous shot in the arm, I think, just for the pride that we have as a community," Riford said.

The annual local economic impact of the JFK 50 Mile is estimated at $350,000 to $500,000, Riford said.

Commissioners President John F. Barr also presented a proclamation celebrating the event and praising the "noteworthy efforts" of its organizers.

"Race organizers are to be commended for not only successfully hosting this annual event, but for also bringing positive renown to our communities as our history, heritage and beauty are celebrated, observed and enjoyed," the proclamation said.

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