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Stephen Mount memorial race set for Sept. 22

Stephen Mount, shown here during the 2011 Dynamic Duathlon at Champlain Valley Union High School, died unexpectedly while participating in a triathlon less than three weeks later. The second annual Stephen Mount Memorial 5K Fun Run/Ride will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. behind Williston Central School. (Courtesy photo)

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

To any runner who feels like giving up during the Stephen Mount Memorial 5K Fun Run/Ride, remember this: Steve Mount would want you to finish.

That’s because Steve Mount never quit at anything in life.

Mount, who died unexpectedly while competing in a triathlon on July 2, 2011, was a true renaissance man. A software engineer for 21 years at General Electric and IDX Systems Corp., Mount was also a U.S. Constitution aficionado and wrote a regular political column for the Observer. Additionally, the father of three served as chairman of Williston Families as Partners, the parent-teacher organization for the Williston School District.

The second annual fun run in Mount’s honor will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. Mount’s widow, Karen, observed that the race is a fitting homage to her husband because it combines two of his passions.

“The memorial race is a great tribute to him, because it puts two things that he really believed in together—the physical fitness and being healthy and taking care of yourself, and the other aspect, which is the education for kids,” Karen Mount said.

FAP member Sue Scheer said the memorial race is a way to cement Mount’s legacy as a benefactor for Williston’s youth.

“Steve Mount was a very involved parent in the Williston school system. He really believed in education for all children, and was just an amazing man,” Scheer said. “All the proceeds from this will benefit the Families as Partners organization, and all the money benefits the kids at Williston Central, helping to pay for field trips.”

Unlike the first annual event, Scheer said runners will be timed this year and awards will be handed out to the top three finishers in various age brackets.

The race will begin at Williston Community Park, behind Williston Central School, and will follow a counterclockwise loop around Old Stage, Mountain View and North Williston roads. Scheer praised the town for its recent installation of a missing stretch of sidewalk north of Wildflower Circle on Old Stage Road.

“It’s really cool now. The whole race can be run on sidewalk and bike path,” Scheer said. “For safety reasons, it’s ideal. There’s no reason anyone has to get out on the road.”

Karen Mount, who participated in last year’s run with her daughter and twin sons, said the support from the community since her husband’s death has been tremendous.

“He was an amazing man. He truly was,” she said. “The loss that has been felt in the community with his passing has been overwhelming, and still is to this day.”

Although the Mounts moved to Williston in 1996, it wasn’t until five years ago that they decided to build their own house. Karen Mount said there was never any question in her husband’s mind that the house would be located in the Williston community he held dear.

“Stephen was adamant that he did not want to leave Williston. I now realize what he meant by that,” she said. “There’s something different about Williston, as a town. They care about each other. They bind together when things are tough and are there for support, and we certainly felt that and are appreciative of that.”

Registration fees for the Stephen Mount Memorial 5K Fun Run/Ride are $5 for children, $10 for adults or $20 per family. Contact Sue Scheer at scheer2@comcast.net for registration or volunteer information.