Nov. 15 5k honors memory of Terry Burk and Sam Case [Eagle Archives]
By By Kevin E. Dayhoff
Nov 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM
The annual autumn 5k on the Wakefield Valley Community Trail, located on the western edges of Westminster, will take place this year on Nov. 15.
Since 2003, the event, which is sponsored by the Westminster Road Runners Club, has been held in honor of the memory of Terry Burk, who was struck by a car and killed on Aug. 10, 1995, while jogging with his friends, Dave Roush, Don Myers, and Dave Herlocker, on Route 97 at Kalten Road.
Herlocker endured a long road to recovery, and died, in part, from his injuries on March 21, 2008.
Sam Case, along with Burk and Herlocker are among the original members of the local runners club. Case spoke at his friend's funeral.
"In looking through my diaries, I estimate that, along with Sam Alspach, we logged almost 41,000 miles together in our almost 37 years of running and walking — that's almost two times around the earth at the equator," said Case, who taught human physiology and exercise science courses for nearly four decades at McDaniel College and was a well-respected and admired professor and coach.
On Saturday, Case's dedication to the club, the community and to running will be celebrated. The annual run has been renamed the Terry Burk/Sam Casem Memorial 5K and Fun Run to honor the avid runner who died Aug. 22, 2012 at age 70, according to Skip Fennell, another of the original members of the club and a member of the faculty at McDaniel College.
"Sam was a major early promoter of running for fitness," Fennell said. "His impact at Western Maryland/McDaniel is legendary [for] his respect as a teacher, and scholar in exercise physiology to being a revered and nationally honored wrestling coach. [Case and Burk were] two friends and great guys [that are] being remembered for influencing others and valuing running."
The popular Wakefield Valley Community Trail is an appropriate setting for the event; it is the 20th anniversary of the well-used community trail.
Plans first began for a multi-use trail in the Wakefield Valley in 1994. The design and construction of the trail was complicated because sections of the trail included stream and wetlands crossings, and it traversed steep hills. The trail also had to meet the requirements for the Americans with Disabilities Act and had to conform to various standards specified by the long list of state and federal funding sources.
Today, the 2.1-mile linear park trail extends from Long Valley Road to Uniontown Road. The city's first hiking and biking trail was painstakingly developed one leg at a time, inspired in part, by the legacy of Burk, who ran with the Road Runners Club for many years.
Saturday at 8 a.m., runners, family and friends will gather at 730 Tahoma Farm Road at the Burk Memorial Plaque, which was dedicated at last year's event; to share comments in honor and memory of Burk and Case. The run begins at 8:30 a.m.