May 11, 1974, 25 year old Ivory Crockett broke the 100-yard dash record. This year, the Webster Groves School District Foundation held the 17th annual Ivory Crockett Run For Webster.
The 1968 graduate of Webster Groves High School completed the race in 9.0 seconds, breaking the previous record of 9.1 seconds. Today, the event is no longer competed for, and Ivory Crockett retains his record.
In memory of Crockett’s record, the Ivory Crockett Run For Webster has become a yearly event. Participants gather in front of the high school, and once the races are finished, treats and medals are handed out to participants. The run raises money for the Webster Groves School District Foundation.
The Ivory Crockett Run For Webster has been a community event since 2004. Sarah Smith, event manager, sees the event as more than just a running event.
“It’s certainly a running event or a walking event, but it’s much more than that; it’s a community event. That’s what we’re after,” Smith said.
Smith has been the event manager for the past seven years. Smith saw COVID’s effect on the race last year.
“Last year was a challenge for us. We do have a virtual race, and we also have a scavenger hunt for kids. It was actually extremely successful,” Smith said.
About this year, Smith saw positive outcomes.
“This year, we’re seeing the effects of people wanting to do an activity, a safe activity outside, that the family can all go together and have some community time,” Smith said.
The attendance numbers show the reality of Smith’s reasoning. The event had 579 participants of all ages competing in the 100 Yard Dash, the One-Mile Fun Run/Walk and the Run For Webster 5k.
“We always have right around 500 people, and every time I looked it was well over 550 people,” Smith said.
The event did not only showcase itself as a running event. The marching band provided pep from in front of the school, the cheerleading squad lined up in front of Selma Field and the dance team performed in between events.
Tim Halls, vice president on the board of the Webster Groves School District Foundation, was the announcer/MC for the event.
“For the past four or five races, they’ve felt I was the most qualified to be the emcee,” Halls said.
About the return from COVID, Halls was optimistic about the event’s success. “I think we’ve set a record for runners, so it looks like people are very anxious to get out.”
Josh Vitoux, in charge of keeping numbers and timing for the race, also shared positive sentiments about the return from COVID. Vitoux has been helping out for the event for the past five years and spoke about the numbers being back.
The Ivory Crockett Run For Webster is held the morning of the third Saturday in October.