It was a chance to enjoy a summer morning with friends on the streets of Cooperstown, so it was easy to see why the inaugural BASE Race was an instant hit.
But it was also a chance to support the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s new BASE initiative – and the runners came out on Saturday to back the program’s message of healthy lifestyle choices and how to Be A Superior Example.
“I wanted to be here to support the entire program and the educational component,” said Museum member Russ Daniels, who as a pharmacist has a keen appreciation for the BASE program’s message of living life free of performance-enhancing substances. “To be able to volunteer to help something like the BASE program is important. A race like this reflects the spirit of the whole program.”
Under partly cloudy skies that provided some much-needed relief from the summer sun, 271 runners – nearly evenly divided between the 5K and 10K events – kicked off the inaugural BASE Race from Cooperstown’s Clark Sports Center. Jim Allott of Potsdam, N.Y. was the first to cross the finish line, winning the 5K with a time of 19:43.
Allott, wearing bib No. 2, brought his entire family to Cooperstown for BASE Weekend.
“My wife (Kathy) is a huge Yankees fan, so she was a little jealous that I got Derek Jeter’s number on my bib,” Allott said. “I think I’ll give her the bib for a Christmas present.
“It was a great course… more hilly that I expected, which made it interesting. It took you down through the village and by (Otesgo Lake), so you got to see a lot of the surrounding area.”
Robert Fritz from Brooklyn was the 10K winner in 38:17 and echoed Allott’s sentiments about the course.
“The first three kilometers on the 10K were flat, but then you got the hills, which keeps you honest,” said Fritz, whose family lives in the Cooperstown area. “I was very impressed with everything for a race that was in its first year.”
Amanda LoPiccolo of Oneonta, N.Y., won the women’s 10K, and has raced in Cooperstown-area events before. But LoPiccolo and her husband Matt wanted to run the BASE Race to help support the healthy lifestyle message that BASE promotes.
“I’m a chiropractor, and Matt is the track and cross country coach at Oneonta State,” Amanda LoPiccolo said. “We believe in healthy lifestyle choices and exercise, so we felt good about coming up for this race. It’s something we both believe in.”
BASE Weekend featured the BASE Race as well as the launch of several initiatives in the Museum’s new program designed to promote the message of healthy living. BASE is built upon four foundations for individuals of all ages to follow in pursuit of being a superior example: fitness, nutrition, character and fair play.
The Museum’s BASE exhibit, featuring the four foundations of BASE, debuted Saturday to rave reviews from visitors. The interactive exhibit features two video education programs, developed by K12 Inc, featuring several Hall of Fame members sharing their insight on the right way to live and play the game. Lynch Exhibits provided support for the exhibit.
A national BASE registry will launch on Tuesday, Sept. 4, as the Hall of Fame encourages everyone to pledge to “Be A Superior Example.” The registry will follow the online K12 Inc-developed programs, and will live in Cooperstown, allowing registrants the opportunity to see their name and pledge alongside the game’s greatest players ever in the Hall of Fame.
In addition to the online registry and education lessons from Cooperstown, the BASE program will provide for national exposure opportunities to raise the public awareness on the prevalence of PES use in today’s society. More than 350 individuals, corporations, and major league teams, including a significant gift from Major League Baseball, have contributed nearly $600,000 to date to the BASE program.
As part of the BASE program outreach, the Hall of Fame announced Friday that it will collaborate with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and the Taylor Hooton Foundation to commission a national survey, to commence this fall, which will measure public understanding on the use of appearance and performance-enhancing substances, including anabolic steroids, among young people.
The groundbreaking survey, to be designed and managed by the University of Massachusetts-Boston, with assistance from the Gallup organization, is the first initiative of a new association among the Hall of Fame, PBATS and THF that will provide educational programs to inform young athletes, parents and coaches of the dangers of performance-enhancing substances through events around the country.
The survey will measure responses to specific questions related to beliefs about performance-enhancing substance use in America. The random sample survey is designed to gather a snapshot of the American people in general, as opposed to one specific group. Within survey data, it is expected that certain subsets will be extracted, including by region, as well as those ages 18 to 25. Survey results are expected to be announced in early 2013.