OWASCO — Auburnian Missy Deyneka was one of approximately 300 volunteers who came together Sunday to insure the 40th annual Myles Keogh Paddle, Wheel and Run Great Race ran as smoothly as possible.
Deyneka, along with her children Madison and Mason, was stationed at the food tent in Emerson Park, handing out sandwiches and fruit to the competitors and other volunteers. She said her kids enjoy coming to the race, while Deyneka herself likes the event’s social atmosphere.
“I get to see a lot of people from high school I haven’t seen in years,” Deyneka said. “It’s a good opportunity to see people from the community.”
Every year after the competition, the race committee hosts an all-day party in Emerson Park for the competitors and their families and friends, as well as anyone in the community who wants to stop by.
Groups set up tents and had picnics in the grass, while boaters moored their crafts to the shores to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two while listening to this year’s band, The Destination. Competitors in matching team T-shirts could be seen eating, drinking, laughing and relaxing with their teammates after finishing the race.
The Great Race committee member Paul Ringwood said the event organizers estimate between 7,000 and 10,000 people will attend the post-race celebration this year.
“Our primary concern is the race but we know how to throw a party too,” Ringwood said.
Grill fare was provided by Balloons Restaurant and Catering. Anheuser-Busch, one of the race’s sponsors, supplied the beer and Poppy’s Treats ice cream truck served up soft serve, ice cream bars and sundaes.
The Great Race Director Tim Walczyk said the name “The Great Race” came about in the event’s first year, in 1978, when someone said “This is a great race.” Since then, the name has stuck, Walczyk said.
“This race is one of the…