August 28, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
61°F

Twin Sizzler has hometown atmosphere

 

Matthew Doyle

The Gazette

MEDINA — The Fourth of July tradition will return to Medina Public Square with more improvements that benefit runners, bikers and all families.

The Twin Sizzler is back for its 38th edition Thursday morning, and the American Red Cross and Westfield Insurance are working to build a community event full of “fun, friends and family.”

The five events the Twin Sizzler held last year remain the same — 5-kilometer run, walk, bike races (expert and citizen), fun run and 10K run — but each race will be chip-timed, which will allow results and awards to be distributed faster.

American Red Cross Executive Director Beth Kilchenman is excited about the new improvements to the Twin Sizzler and mentioned how registration will also be faster with the addition of touch screen machines.

Families from all around the country will be participating, but the local families make the event a Fourth of July tradition.

The Vandenbergs, who have been Medina County residents for 10 years, will have four competitors in the 5K and one in the 10K.

The competition and family atmosphere bring the Vandenbergs back every year, and they’ve noticed improvements throughout their eight years of running.

“More community,” Emma Vandenberg said on the improvements of the Twin Sizzler. “The longer we’ve been here, the more people we’ve known who were running, so we can all cheer each other on.”

Cole Vandenberg enjoys running in the Twin Sizzler for his competitive edge, as he will be running at California University of Pennsylvania this fall. He said the good competition and hometown atmosphere bring him back every year.

The Geary family of Medina will have all three sons — Ryan, Matthew and Adam — and father Mike running Thursday. Adam, 11, will be competing in the 5K and 10K, while the other three will be running in the 5K.

“It’s a great way to go out and have a good time, but still challenge yourself,” said Ryan, who runs track at Archbishop Hoban.

He has noticed the improvements of the race from year to year, even though this is his first time competing in the Sizzler.

“Absolutely (it’s improved),” Ryan said. “Tons of people on the sidewalks cheering. Streets are closed down. It’s really something.”

The Zone Entertainment DJ is returning to the square, while activities for children include animal balloons, face painting and a Red Cross jeopardy game. Refreshments will also be served for all participants.

“It’s something that you can do early in the morning that doesn’t really interrupt with other plans of the day. It’s convenient,” Cole Vandenberg said. “Running with your family together, we all have the same pace.

“I think it gets bigger and better every year.”

All proceeds from the Twin Sizzler benefit the American Red Cross of Medina County and help local families prevent, prepare for and cope with emergencies. The emphasis is helping military families.

Contact Matthew Doyle at sports@medina-gazette.com.