Weather can't stop runners
AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tribune
Nothing like cold, snow and a slippery trail to bring local
law enforcement agencies together. "It's nice to
have all the agencies together and interacting like
this," said Joe James, a member of the fire department
serving the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Running Saturday in the 5K Foot Pursuit at Sunset Hill
County Park, James said he liked the event's "cohesive
atmosphere," and the chance to raise money for the
American Red Cross and Concerns of Police Survivors, or
C.O.P.S. In all, 250 people -- including police
and fire representatives from communities throughout
Lake and Porter counties as well as Chicago --
participated in the second annual trail run and walk,
sponsored by the Porter County Sheriff's Department.
After Friday's blustery weather, and with sporadic
flurries Saturday, there was no doubt runners and
walkers were in for an adventure. Temperatures in the
20s didn't help. "The course is snowy, icy, muddy
-- just about all the conditions you could ask for,"
said Scott Hartz, a sheriff's department corporal who
organized the event. The conditions didn't quash
the spirit of the participants. Supporters for Porter's
fire department wore red plastic fire hats; a handful of
sheriff's department runners had on black- and
white-striped inmate shirts. One runner wore a metallic
foam beer keg. Most, though, stuck with gloves and
stocking caps. "I'm just trying to keep in shape,"
admitted Aaron Pollock, a patrolman with the Griffith
Police Department. He'd done other 5K runs, but not the
Foot Pursuit. "I've never done a trail run. It will be
more challenging, especially with the snow and ice. You
have to be a little more careful." Sheriff David
Lain came out to show his support for the event --
dressed in jeans, not running gear. "Maybe next
year. I'm just getting back to my routine. The last 18
months, I didn't have time to get to the gym," he said,
referring to his successful campaign for office.
He joked about the "perfect weather" the department has
had two years in a row for the run. "We think this
is a great family event," he said. "The worse the
weather is, the more it gives people to talk about."