Monsoon 5k Canceled For Lack Of Participation

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David Cluff will not have the opportunity to defend the Monsoon 5K run title he won last year.

It's not that the former Payson High School cross country star doesn't want to run, it's because the 2006 edition of the annual race was canceled due to lack of participation.

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In 2005, the Monsoon 5K drew a large number of competitors, but a year later, the event was scrubbed for lack of interest.

The 5K was originally scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 12, at Green Valley Park.

"A week before (the run) we only had about four or five people sign up," Parks and Recreation Superintendent Bill Schwind said. "So, we canceled it."

Last year, the event drew about 50 entrants including most members of the Longhorn cross country team who were going to run in the 2006 event had it not been canceled.

Cluff won the 3.1-mile race last year in 17:59. Jennifer Daugherty captured the women's title in 23:15.

About 10 years ago, the long-standing 5K race was renamed the "Monsoon" because it usually rained the day of the run.

Over the years, some of the Rim Country's finest runners won the race including Monica Savage, Cynthia Pool, Beth Rimmer, Whitney Hardt, Jeremy Lee, David Hellwies, LeighAnn Haynes and Tanner Morgan.

Tom Cooka, a national recognized senior runner, was also a frequent competitor and most always an age group champion.

Schwind said he did not know what was behind the lack of interest in the race, but it could possibly have been that the town had held the first-ever Payson Sprint Triathlon July 8.

With the Monsoon now a relic of the past, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department will gear up for the Turkey Trot 5K which will be run in November at Green Valley Park.

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