Sunday, June 12, 2022

Hundreds Compete in 40th Annual Coalcracker 10K

Known as one of the toughest races in the region, hundreds of people came out to compete in the 40th annual Coalcracker 10K race in Shenandoah.

After being cancelled the past several years due to COVID-19, organizers were excited to hold the event.

The day began at the Polish American Fire Company where registration took place.

At 9:00am, the annual Fun Run took place for kids with the added chance for those that didn't want to compete in the full 10K, they were able to take a try at the 1.5 mile course.

At 10:00am, the 10K race began next to the fire company, travelled up Centre Street to Main Street and south on Route 924.

While being led by West Mahanoy Township Police, participants ran down the Gold Star Highway to Gilberton, east to Route 54, then back to Shenandoah onto Centre Street heading west.

Along with the over 6 mile course, runners must endure grueling hills during several portions of the course.

At just over 34 minutes, the lead runner, Matthew Santacoloma, 20, of Olyphant crossed the finish line as this year's winner.  This was Santacoloma's first time competing in the Coalcracker.

The top 10 finishers were

2) Samuel Dever, 28
3) Christopher McCormick, 22
4) Justin Skavery, 28
5) Diego Olayo, 18
6) Tina Cappovell, 22 (First Woman to Finish)
7) Justin Obrien, 33
8) Jordan Remmel, 17
9) Connor Stasulli, 18
10) Matthew O, 20

This year's race was dedicated Tom "Tally" Talerico.  Talerico passed away on October 9th, 2021 and was one of the founding fathers of the Coalcracker.  For the first 38 years of the race, he competed and finished in every race.

Talerico's wife Geraldine "Geri" took part in Saturday's 1.5 mile race and was cheered on by the rest of his family at the finish line.