Bikers, runners celebrate the Tour de Pepacton

By Pauline Liu
For those who preferred to remain on dry land during the Memorial Day weekend, there were plenty of other ways for landlubbers to celebrate the opening of recreational boating in the Pepacton Reservoir.

On Sunday morning, the inaugural Tour de Pepacton drew thongs of cycling enthusiasts who peddled their way through 25- and 60-mile long rides around the reservoir. The event is sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Bicycling Club. 

David Pollack of Manhattan and Randy Shepard of Delhi came in first among the cyclists, finishing the 25-mile course in about one hour and 15 minutes. They were followed by brothers Ed Daley of Hoboken, NJ and Jim Daley of Delmar, who completed the same course in about one hour and 20 minutes.

“A perfect day,” said Ed. “Our family lives in Andes,” said Jim. “It was very nice. Good route. Good ride.”

For those who felt that running or walking was more of their pace, the was the Float Your Boat 5K Walk/ Run, which was also held on Sunday morning shortly after the start of the Tour de Pepacton. The event, which took participants up Cemetery Road and through the streets of Margaretville, was sponsored by the Margaretville Hospital AuxiliaryWellness Committee. It’s chaired by John Riedl.

Finishing first
The first runner to compete the course was Allan Aujero of Tenafly, NJ, whose family has a home in Margaretville. He completed the run in about 25 minutes and 37 seconds.

“This was my first 5K and I thought it was pretty hard,” he said. “To start off on a hill in an inaugural one, so that no one knew the course. I usually run for fun. I don’t usually run for time.”
Does he plan to participate next year?
“I’ll continue, especially if it helps the community,” he said. “We were here after Irene to help the community clean-up.”

Both Float Your Boat and the Tour de Pepacton began at the Margaretville Pavilion and ended on Main Street in Margaretville near the parking lot of NBT Bank. The proceeds from registration fees from both events went to benefit the Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care based in Oneonta.

“We’re very appreciative of all the hard work and dedication of the organizers to make this possible,” said Bob Escher, who is director of development and marketing for hospice. “We also appreciate of all the runners, walkers and cyclists who came out today to support this great community event. Each and everyday we care for approximately 215 hospice families.”

At press time, it was not clear how much was raised, but Escher said the money would be used to support unfunded programs such as bereavement care and a kids camp called Forget Me Not.