To the editor:
I would like to thank all of those who participated and supported the fourth-annual Wintersville Labor Day 5K held on Monday. This event was started by a few friends who enjoy running in various 5K, 10K and other similar events throughout the Tri-State Area, with the intent of having such an event right here in our area. Each year we have approximately 100 or more runners and walkers who join us for this 3.1-mile event.
The decision was made early on back in 2009 that any proceeds resulting from the event would go to a different local nonprofit each year. This year's recipient of the proceeds is the Jefferson County Humane Society. Prior year recipients were the Wintersville Betterment Committee (2009), the local chapter of the American Red Cross (2010) and Big Brothers Big Sisters (2011).
Our sponsors this year included Bruno's Pizza, which fired up their ovens on a Monday morning holiday to provide everyone with terrific fresh hot pizza at the finish. New York Life; Trinity Health System; Coca-Cola; Hair Boutique; the Ville Restaurant; the Inn at Brandywine; Smitty's Floors; Johnny D's Convenient; Councilman Jason Mattern; Dunlope-Shorac Funeral Homes; Roy Fouty's Fabulous Finishes; Barium Chemical; and WOGH-FM all provided generous support as well. American Red Cross staff was on hand once again to provide water along the course to all runners and walkers. Special thanks also to the village of Wintersville and the Wintersville Police Department for helping to direct traffic and protect all participants. Indian Creek Local School District generously allows us the use of its parking lot and Kettlewell Stadium each year, as well. Race T-shirts were designed by Rob's Special T's in Wintersville.
Top male runners this year were Bob Stanko, 42, from Steubenville, with a time of 20:49, which is an average of 6:43 per mile. Second place went to Joseph Schlich, at just 13 years old, with a time of 22:12 (a 7:10 per mile pace.) Top female runners were Alexis Virtue, age 17, with a time of 23:18 (a 7:31 pace), and Jackie Kendziorski, age 29, with a time of 24:55 (an 8:02 pace.) Lead male walkers were John Carpenter, age 52, with a time of 34:39 (a pace of 11:11 per mile), and Don Zalenski, age 66, with a time of 35:43 (11:31 per mile.) Top female walkers were Valarie Crossley, age 37, with a time of 35:13 (11:21 pace), and Karen Cantor, age 60, with a time of 40:08 (12:57).
Photos from the race will soon be posted to our website, www.Wintersville5k.com, which the Ridgefield Group supports and manages, and on Facebook. Race times for all participants can be found online at the race results link at www.runhigh.com.
Mark your calendars for next Labor Day, which will be Sept. 2, 2013. We'll hold the fifth-annual event that day, with all proceeds going to the new YMCA Wellness Center at St. John Arena.
John W. Cucarese