Westminster trail a fitting site for runner's memorial [Eagle Archives]
(Kevin Dayhoff,)

On Saturday, Nov. 16, members of the Westminster Road Runners Club, as well as friends and family, will  honor the memory of Terry Burk on the Wakefield Valley Community Trail.

The observance will be held near the Tahoma Farm Boulder Park and historic Fenby Farm Quarry and Lime Kiln Park at 730 Tahoma Farm Road in Westminster.


Westminster Mayor Kevin Utz, members of the Westminster Common Council and a fellow runner, Abby Gruber, Westminster's recreation and parks director, have joined with Community Foundation executive director Audrey Cimino, and other members of the runners club in planning the event.

The ceremony will coincide with the annual running of the Flying Feet Burk Memorial 5K, a race that began 10 years ago to help keep alive the memory of Burk for the many runners who had the honor of knowing Burk and to also remember the other members of club who have gone before us.

Over the years, the 8-foot wide paved Wakefield Trail has developed one leg at a time, inspired in part by the legacy of Burk, who ran with the Road Runners Club for many years. Today, the 2.1-mile linear park trail, the city's first hiking and biking trail, extends from Long Valley Road to Uniontown Road.

Planning had begun in earnest for the trail in 1994.

The following year, Burk was struck by a car and killed while jogging with friends on Route 97 at Kalten Road.

He was 48, the owner of a popular family business in town, the Treat Shop, a Westminster institution established in 1951. For many years, the candy store was located across the street from the Carroll Theatre, now the Carroll Arts Center, on West Main Street in Westminster. The store continues in business today at the TownMall of Westminster.

According to the remarks for next week's memorial event that will be delivered by Frank Schaeffer, president of the Westminster Road Runners Club, Burk had gone for an early morning run on Aug. 10 with his friends, Dave Roush, Don Myers, and Dave Herlocker, near Kalten Acres on Route 97 north.

Police later reported a young man apparently fell asleep while driving home from work and struck two runners.

"Burk died that evening. Herlocker had a long recovery but stayed with us until 2008," according to fellow road runner, Dr. Skip Fennell.

Burk's family established a memorial fund in his name with the Community Foundation of Carroll County to help build the trail.

Sadly, in the years since the accident, club members Dr. Sam Case and Dr. Sam Alspach, as well as Herlocker, all professors at McDaniel College, have died.

The memorial ceremonies begin at 8:15 a.m. and will include the unveiling of a stone monument on the trail in Burk's honor.

When he is not huffing and puffing on the Wakefield Valley Trail, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com