Piper wins the Ogden 5K; Ervin claims the walk

WHEELING – There was no photo finish when it came to the Ogden Classic 5K on Saturday in Wheeling.

Heath Piper of Eighty Four, Pa., won by a margin of nearly 70 seconds with a time of 17:54.5

”After about a half mile, I surged into the lead and I just tried to keep the pace steady,” Piper said. ”I prefer running with a pack of guys to help me pull through and run a better time at the end of the race, but I’ll take it. It’s fun to win.”

The win is the first for the 31-year-old.

”This is my first time running the 5K,” he said. ”I ran what used to be the 20K … but this is my first time running the 5K here.”

Kevin Simpson, 14, of Bridgeport finished second with a time of 19:18.4, while Wayne McCracken, 54 of Rayland placed third with a time of 19:26.3.

This year’s women’s winner was Martins Ferry’s Christine Lewis, 36, with a winning time of 20:06.9. Sherri Martin, 51 of West Alexander, Pa., was second with a 20:34.7 while 12-year-old Ireland Wayt of Wheeling finished third at 20:42.6

Donna Graham of Lowell, Ohio, saw her string of consecutive 5K walk victories continue as she finished the race first overall.

The retired Fort Frye high school teacher finished with a winning time of 31:59.

”I’ve been here every year since 2006 except the one year there wasn’t a walk division,” she said. ”I’ve won it every time, so that’s why I come back. I didn’t think I’d do it this year because I was a little slow, but I put everything I had into it. This is one of my favorite races.”

The race served in preparation for the 63-year-old’s upcoming trip to South America.

”I usually do 30″ races a year,” she said. ”I’m going to Brazil in October to compete for the U.S.A. team in the World Masters.”

The men’s winner was Ryan Hudak-Hill, 29 of Bethesda with a time of 32:26, while Wheeling’s Tony Purpura (33:18.2), 63, was second.

Wheeling’s Kathy Shapell was the second woman to finish as she walked the 5K in 33:54.2

During the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic Walk Kathy Ervin got back to her winning ways.

”This is the fifth time (I won it),” she said. ”I won three in a row, then I got third last year and now I’m back to first this year. I’m excited.”

Ervin won this year’s race with a time of 2:23:14, ”three or four minutes” faster than she did a year ago.

Those watching the race may have thought that Ervin finished twice as her twin sister, Kim Hartle of Hilliard, Ohio, also competed in the race.

The two turn 46 today and use the Ogden Classic as a way of celebrating.

”We make it an annual event because it’s around our birthdays and Memorial Day weekend,” Ervin said. ”We live two hours apart. Hopefully, when we do marathons, we get to see each other.”

A year ago, the pair actually celebrated their birthday on the same day as the race.

Annette White, 30, of Wheeling finished second with a time of 2:23:48, while Hartle was third at 2:25:46.

Lee Stough (1:59:38), 31, of Glassport, Pa. was the men’s winner, while Barnesville’s Carl Kondrach, 41, was second at 2:10:57.