The Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter of the Regional Trail Corporation will hold its Annual Poker Run on Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2019. The walking/biking non-competitive event will start at the Arthur H. King Access Area of the Great Allegheny Passage in West Newton. Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used by trail volunteers to maintain, preserve and enhance the Westmoreland County Section of the Great Allegheny Passage.
The Poker Run consists of three events: 1). A walking, jogging, wheelchair optional, four mile flat course. 2). A level 12 mile bike ride that runs south along the Youghiogheny River to Smithton Beach and back. 3). an endurance 20 mile bike ride that runs south along the Youghiogheny River Trail to Whitsett and back. All cyclists are required to wear an ANSI or SNELL approved helmet.
The Poker Run is not a race. Participants walk or ride at their own pace taking as little time, or up to two hours, to finish their course. At checkpoints throughout the course participants will pick a playing card to develop a poker hand. At the end of the course each poker hand is tallied and the person with the best hand in each of the three events receives a cash prize award. Afterwards a raffle is conducted and all participants are eligible to win one of more than 75 door prizes of various kinds and values that have been donated by regional businesses and merchants who support the trail and what the trail brings to our area. A bicycle is the grand prize give away. There will also be a half-the-take drawing.
Many people are unaware that the Great Allegheny Passage is not maintained by county or state workers, but by volunteer effort. The Poker Run is the major fundraiser for the volunteer maintenance of the 10.5 miles of trail that runs through Westmoreland County. People come from all around the southwest region to enjoy the scenery, smell the early morning air along the river, enjoy the camaraderie of the event and have a chance to win one of more than the 75 plus prizes.