- Cullman, Alabama

March 25, 2013

Half marathon held at St. Bernard


CULLMAN — St. Bernard Prep School hosted its first half-marathon Saturday, March 9, with 79 runners registered. Coming from Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, the runners followed a newly-constructed course that meandered through the treasure forest of St. Bernard Abbey. Seventy-two of the participants completed the run.

Organizers of the event were Roger Blalock, who constructed the course, and William Calvert, principal of St. Bernard Middle School and serves as the cross country and track-and-field coach.

“For a first time event, we had a great turnout,” said Coach Calvert.  “The cool morning temperatures provided a great start to the morning race and the course was in excellent shape.”

Also on hand at the beginning of the race was the president of St. Bernard Preparatory School, Father Joel Martin, OSB, who welcomed the runners and offered an opening prayer.

E.C. Gibbs, a Cullman native who was an outstanding runner for George Tech, set the course record with a time of 1:25:43.00, followed by Dink Taylor, and Eric Charette

“I thank everyone who participated in this event,” said Coach Calvert. “The runners, the volunteers, the photographers, the spectators, our sponsors. You have made our first half marathon a great success. It is our plan,” he continued, “to make this an annual race and look forward to seeing it grow in a much anticipated event in the race calendar each year.”

Roger Blalock concurred with Coach Calvert. “We have had a fantastic response for this race,” Blalock said. “The runners were very positive about the trails and the wonderful hospitality that was shown to them.” Blalock was referring to the fresh fruit, cookies and water that the runners received, as well as to other refreshments that were made available. Local restaurant owners, Ralph and Annette Harris of Rumor’s Deli, provided delicious oatmeal cookies and served as photographers for the runners. Sweet Peppers Deli owners, David and Maria Steele, donated tasty sack lunches of sandwiches, cookies and chips provided to participants at the end of their run.

St. Bernard will host the Bloomin’ Festival 5K/10K Saturday, April 20, to kick off the 29th annual Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts Fair in Cullman. For more information and registration forms, visit and click on the 5K/10K icon; or, contact William Calvert at 256-255-0030.