Sunny skies, lots of volunteers and a fast course awaited runners and walkers from Wheeling to Parkersburg and all points between as they came to Paden City to test their training and stamina in the inaugural Paden City Foundation 5K Run and Walk on June 4.
The race featured 100 registered runners and walkers of all ages and experience levels and started and finished at Centennial Park on Main Street. The new race course was predominantly flat and led to fast finish times.
The overall winner, Josh Weekly of West Union, finished the 3.1 mile course in 17 minutes, 9.2 seconds. Parkersburg firefighter, Andrew Nestor finished in second place with a time of 17:35 and Cameron Benson of New Martinsville came in third place at 17:43.
The top female runner was St. Marys’ Phyllis Brown with a time of 21:38, followed by Marlee Stollar from Marietta at 24:46 and Shae Benson, New Martinsville, at 25:43.
Top Walkers included Tim Oldfield and Margie Oldfield from Parkersburg, finishing first place in male and female divisions with times of 34:19 and 34:24, respectively.
Second-place finishers were Linda Eagle of Sistersville (35:53) and Alex Thoburn of Paden City (35:51). In third place of the walking division winners were Judy Strasser, Wheeling, with a time of 37:16 and Ryan Thoburn of Paden City at 41:01 minutes.
The top three male and female finishers in both divisions each received plaques and valuable series points in the Ohio River Racing Series. The Series consists of the Foundation 5K and the Jim Quinet 5K Memorial Race to be held on July 23 in New Martinsville. Top finishers in each race accumulate series points with series champions being crowned on July 23.
The top three finishers in both run and walk (male and female) in each age division also received medals. All entrants in the race received Foundation 5K shirts for their efforts.
Participants came from Wheeling, Moundsville, New Martinsville, Paden City, Sistersville, Middlebourne, West Union, Morgantown, Harrisville, St. Marys, Belmont, Williamstown, Parkersburg, Vienna and Mineral Wells in West Virginia. Entrants came from Sardis, Marietta, Belpre, Jackson and Columbus, in Ohio..
The race had several sponsors, with Wesbanco sponsoring the shirts and Healthy Alliance from Columbus, sponsoring the medals. Timing services was provided by J and J Timing from Marietta. Sponsoring the timing services and the plaques was RAM Financial Services. Littman Enterprises sponsored restroom facilities and hand sanitizing stations for the race. Post-race drinks were provided by the Paden City Museum and Cultural Center and fruit was provided by TME-Lights Your Way.
Other sponsors included Quinet’s Catering and Restaurant, Days Gone By Pub, the PCHS Class of 1968 and Palmetto Proactive Healthcare-Greenville, SC.
Race volunteer, Rodney McWilliams, commented, “These sponsors are a great asset to the race. They allow us to cover a lot of the costs so we can use the entry fees for the projects we sponsor. I know the local businesses are asked to sponsor so many events. We were lucky to have others to rely on for this first year and give us a chance to prove ourselves to the local business community so that maybe next year we can seek local sponsorship as well.”
Continuing, McWilliams added, “Littman Enterprises read about the race in the local newspapers and contacted us about providing the porta-johns. They and all the sponsors are just wonderful organizations and all of them want to help local causes.
“The race would not even be close to possible if not for the small army of volunteers,” McWilliams added. “Our goal was to hold a fun, safe race for all experience levels. These volunteers handled registration, post-race needs and manned every intersection and possible high-traffic location along the course to ensure the safety of the runners and walkers. They, including my family, kept the racers on course and kept me on course these past few months.
“They are tremendous people and made the race a success. The local automobile traffic was very cooperative. CSX was extremely considerate to our request for a train slow-down as the course crosses the railroad tracks two times at the entrance of Ford Park.” Members of the Paden City High School Travelers Club manned the water stop in Ford Park at the two-mile mark. Volunteers represented the Paden City Foundation Board of Directors, the Paden City Museum and Cultural Center and the Cornerstone Project.
The race benefits three projects of the PC Foundation: the W. Craig Broadwater Memorial Scholarship fund, the Paden City Museum and Cultural Center and the Cornerstone Project.
The Ohio River Racing Series is the brainchild of race directors Rodney McWilliams and Matt Quinet. Quinet, a very successful runner and tri-athlete and McWilliams, a participant in local 5K and Half-Marathon races discussed the idea last year during the WV Oil and Gas Big Moses 5K in Sistersville.
The Jim Quinet 5K Memorial Race began in 2010 to promote running and walking in the area. And, with the Foundation wanting to promote wellness and healthy lifestyle and looking for a fund-raiser, organizers believed a 5K run in Paden City.
“It’s great the two organizations can work together with the racing series,” Quinet commented. “It’s a great way for the two communities to partner on a project.” McWilliams agreed, adding, “Several people in our immediate area participate in running and walking and the Racing Series is a good way to motivate folks to participate even more.
“Plus, Matt (Quinet) is one of the most positive and encouraging people you will ever know. It’s no wonder the sports teams he coaches are successful, not to mention the family business he is continuing. It’s fun and an honor to work with him on the series.”
The Paden City Foundation thanks all those who participated and volunteered and the for the cooperation of the Paden City Police Department for escorting the runners through the course and ensuring their safety.
Further results for the run in the male division include: ages 1-9: Silas McKeever, Jesse Griffith; ages 10-19: Logan Eckels, Lincoln, Morgan, Craig Allen; ages 20-29: Jeffrey Bowers; ages 40-49: Bill Gardner, David Benson, David Brill; ages 50-59: Jack Lane, Darryl Conner, Richard Summers; ages 60-69: Greg Ervin, Bill Hornbrook.
Female division results: ages 10-19: Kayla Hizer; ages 20-29: Tessa Lind, Samantha Sturgeon, Vicki Yurisko; ages 30-39: Kim Weekley, Laura Van Kiuken; ages 40-49: Stephanie Baker, Rannie Nichols.
In the 5K walk, other results include: males, ages 10-19: Zachary Windland; ages 40-49: Scott Simonton; ages 50-59: Scott Turner, Bob Postlewait, Brent Croasmun; ages 60-69: Rodney Cline; ages 70 plus: Jim Amos, Jim Batson, H.J. Rogers.
Female walker results include: ages 10-19: Victoria Morgan, Amanda Seller, Alivia Melott; ages 30-39: Rebecca Murphy, Portia Wayts, Myndi Billiter; ages 40-49: Elizabeth Melott, Angie Morgan, Jamie Benson; ages 50-59: Sherri West, Barbara Turner, Debbie Croasmun; ages 60-69: Elizabeth Miller, Bobbi Nally, Marlene Patterson.