MONROEVILLE — When Jared Simon chose the topic for his senior project graduation requirement, he decided to be ambitious. Simon, 18, combined his plans to study sports management in college and love of running to create and direct the first Dam Festival 5-K.
“I really enjoy running, and these 5-Ks are something I really enjoy doing,” he said.
Simon is no stranger to 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) races. Being a member of the Monroeville High School cross country team, he’s been running them for his entire high school career. Since the program was restarted in 2000, Simon has been the only Monroeville team member to reach the state level in cross country, and was the district champion in both cross country and track his senior year.
Aside from Firelands Conference races, he also often runs in area 5-Ks, and will run for Ohio Northern University in the coming school year. He graduated as a Monroeville Distinguished Scholar this past Sunday.
For his project, Simon was responsible for all aspects of the race: promoting it, planning the course, and ensuring the proper forms and traffic control were in place. The race will begin at 9 a.m. June 23, with the starting and finishing line at Marsh Field, right in front of the Dam Festival. Forms are available at the Monroeville village clerk’s office.
In order to raise awareness about the race, Simon has handed out fliers to area runners and dispersed them at track meets. He also has received strong support from his fellow former classmates at Monroeville, who have done everything from sign up to run, volunteer to help on race day, and design the T-shirts that pre-registered runners will receive.
The race will be part of Monroeville’s second annual Dam Festival, which was created by Megan Gates during her senior year at MHS. “I saw Megan Gates organize the whole thing last year, and I thought I could do something smaller and still have an impact,” Simon said.