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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Sports NotebookSports Notebook: Something was missing

Sports Notebook: Something was missing

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Something, unfortunately, was missing the late afternoon of Oct. 13 at the annual girls and boys Arlington County high-school cross country meet at Bluemont Park.

Pacers Running store and owner Chris Farley, an Arlington resident and standout runner when he attended Arlington’s Yorktown High School, were not on hand providing the results and doing the race announcing and much more. That meant the Pacers’ blowup blue-and-white finish-line awning wasn’t there either.

Pacers had worked the meet for years, often providing free race paraphernalia for runners.

Instead, another company was used, which provided fine results, but offered none of the usual and fun fanfare Pacers has provided. Plus, the local-man and friendly Farley, who ran cross country at Yorktown, wasn’t on hand doing his passionate announcing and providing witty and insightful commentary.

Farley said he was not asked this season to work the race, he doesn’t know why and is puzzled as to why. Certainly couldn’t be a cost issue. Pacers and Farley worked the meet for free.

Seems odd why Pacers wasn’t asked, because of tradition and the company. Farley has long been about Arlington running.  There is a Pacers store in Arlington.

Maybe it was a simple oversight or fell through the cracks as the reasons Pacers wasn’t asked. All four county high-school teams have had head coaching changes in recent years, plus there was the COVID season, so few of the new coaches know much of the meet’s rich traditions, which includes Pacers.

Every head coach has only been in charge one or two seasons at most.

The race started and ended fine, although the awards ceremony concluded in darkness, so the start time needs to be moved up at future events.

However, without Pacers and Farley around, the event wasn’t nearly as fun as usual, and the runners were cheated as a result.

Pacers always needs to be included at future Arlington County cross country meets.

Hopefully that happens.

– Dave Facinoli

dfacinoli@sungazette.net

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