TakeOff Race

TakeOff Race

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10,000 people will die in drunk driving crashes every year – one every 50 minutes.  An opportunity for everyone to have an impact in making our roads safer is available through participating in the TakeOff race and walk in loving memory of Pennsylvania State Trooper Kenton Iwaniec, the brother of senior high teacher Mrs. Houck.  Trooper Iwaniec was killed on March 28, 2008, by an impaired driver, with a blood alcohol concentration level four times the legal limit.  After completing his shift, just two miles away from his station, Iwaniec’s vehicle was hit head on by the impaired driver.  The race is a proactive memorial to honor Trooper Iwaniec. 

“The idea for the race was started by our father, Ken, who ran with a lot with my brother while he was training to enter the State Police Academy,” said senior high teacher, Mrs. Houck.  This race is designed to “honor the past and shape the future” by helping to save lives by stopping impaired drivers.

This is the third year for the race and it has been very successful so far.   Last year, over $52,000 was raised with proceeds going towards purchasing preliminary breath test devices (PBTs), or breathalyzers for State Police and other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania.  Reducing DUIs on the road is part of the fight to end the destruction of families and lives due to impaired driving. 

“This [PBT] is not only used to assist with arrests, but more importantly, for saving lives.  For this reason, I cannot nearly describe the importance of this donation and how much it means to me, my fellow troopers and our families,” said Trooper Gregory R. Strayer.  Since 2009, 168 PBTs have been donated throughout the state at approximately $500-$700 per unit. 

“The PBT is an integral tool necessary to a [drug recognition expert], having this PBT ensures consistent results and avoids delays looking for or waiting on one of the station PBTs to become available,” said Trooper James M. Bivens.  “Thank you for making such a valuable asset readily available for me to better do my job.”

The race, on April 21 at Saint Vincent College, will begin with registration opening at 7:00 am, and the race beginning at 9:00 am.  Different races are available for participants including a I mile fun walk, a 5k fun walk, a 5k run, a 10k run, a 100M sprint (6 and under), and a ½ mile children’s run (10 and under).  Educational and interactive activities as well as a Chinese auction are available for those not participating in the races or for participants to check out before and after they run.

“Students are taking part in the race for multiple reasons,” said Houck, “they themselves may have been impacted by an impaired driver, they see the devastation resulting from impaired driving, or they want their peers to know that they don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to be accepted and enjoy life.  My family greatly appreciates all of the support that we receive from Greater Latrobe students and staff.”

Students from the SADD club, student council, and the broadcast and publications staffs will be volunteering at the event.  “The memories and experience from the race are priceless,” said senior David Moffa who volunteered last year.  “The funds for the distribution of breathalyzers to various police departments is making our community and state a better place to live.” 

The TakeOff race is a wonderful way to honor Trooper Iwaniec’s memory because he was directly involved in enforcing the laws against impaired driving as part of his job.  The PBTs donated as a result of this race are an integral part of an officer’s duty in making the roads a safer place for everyone.  Registration forms are available outside of the athletic office and Mrs. Houck’s room C107 or go to www.trooperiwaniec.org

Entry Fees

$25 Early Registration

$30 Registration received after April 4

$15 Early Registration for ages 10 and under

$20 Registration received after April 4 for ages 10 and under