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Bobcat 5K honors Plymouth's fallen heroes

At 9 a.m. on Sunday, approximately 100 runners and walkers set out on a course through downtown Plymouth for the 10th Annual Bobcat Memorial 5K Walk/Run. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
May 30, 2019
PLYMOUTH – Blue skies and high spirits made the 10th Annual Bobcat Memorial 5K Walk/Run on Sunday morning a great success as a large crowd assembled at Plymouth Regional High School to not only get some exercise but to do so in honor of three of fallen alumni.

Since 2010, members of the school's OSSIPEE Wellness Club have helped faculty advisor Denise McGlone organize the 5K event. It is held each year in remembrance of SPC Mark Paul Decoteu (Class of 2008), Capt. Douglas DiCenzo (Class of 1995), and MSG Jared Van Aalst (Class of 1993) who were killed while serving the nation overseas.

This year, local Boy Scout Troop 56 helped direct people along the course and members of the National Honor Society at PRHS assisted with timing. Getting the race started once again were eight-year-old Serena and her six-year-old sister Sylvie, who sang the National Anthem.

Among the crowd were Jesse and Jaclyne Ainlay of Marblehead, Mass., and their two sons, five-year-old Charlie and two-and-three-quarter year-old Teddy. Jaclyne is an alumna of PRHS, graduating in 2001. For Memorial Day they typically come to Plymouth to visit her family and take part in the Bobcat Memorial. While in the past Charlie and Teddy have travelled the course in strollers, this year they got out and ran along with their mom and dad.

"They did amazingly well," said Jesse Ainlay, adding with a smile, "Something about the mountain air seems to make them run faster."

There was little doubt that Teddy was one of the youngest participants last Sunday with "boots on the ground." To help him remember running his first Bobcat Memorial 5K, McGlone presented him with a race tee shirt.

Winners in this year's event were Randall Scroggins (Adult Male, 21:08:67), Kris Valenti (Adult Female, 26:06:87), Kevin Jones (High School Male, 21:32:84), Mae Whitcomb (High School Female, 23:55:23), Leo Ebner (Male Child, 23:30:13) and Reagan Sutherland (Female Child, 25:52:29). Each received a race tee shirt for their finish as well.

Other participants were faculty, administrators and students of PRHS along with school families and local supporters. Proceeds from the race will benefit scholarships awarded to PRHS graduates each year in honor of DiCenza, Decoteau and Van Aalst.

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Varney Smith
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