Special to the Daily Times
RUSSELL, Ky. – It was a last minute decision to enter, but it was a good one for a 20-year-old Shawnee State University junior, who collected her third trophy Saturday as a winner of the East Greenup Kiwanis Run By The River.
The 35th annual 5K and 10K road races attracted 282 runners, plus a half-dozen babies in strollers and another half-dozen or so canines, who took their humans on a 5K run.
Milton (WV) native Trey Beckett took the top trophy in the 5K men’s division, while SSU student Sarah Ruggles took possession of her third Run By The River trophy in the women’s 5K.
Huntington’s Blake Burchell, 46 said preparation was the key to his victory in the 10K men’s race, while 18-year-old Katie Coldiron took honors among the women competing in the 10K.
“It was a last minute decision to run in the race,” Ruggles said. “I’ve run for Shawnee in the past, but running is now my hobby. This is a really fun race and you get to meet a lot of people you know.”
Ruggles notched victories in 2007 and 2008, at the ages of 15 and 16. She won the 5K race in 2007 and the 10K in 2008 with times of 20:44 and 44:34 respectively.
This year she clocked a time of 20:09.
“I’m pretty happy with my times,” Ruggles said.
Beckett said he has been preparing for Run By The River for some time, increasing his running regiment from 30 to 40 miles a week. He was shooting for a time in the high 36s or low 37s and hit it right on the mark Saturday at 37:15.
An engineer by trade, Beckett is the health, safety and environmental officer for Alcon of Huntington.
“Kiwanis does a great job putting on this race,” Beckett said, “and the proceeds go to help primarily children.”
He also noted the race being in its 35th year is a tribute to the organization for keeping it going and growing for so long.
“Not many races continue that many years,” Beckett said.
The final tally showed 164 completed the 5K, 87 the 10K and 16 the 5K walk.
Money raised by the event is used for scholarships for Kiwanis-sponsored Key Clubs at Russell, Raceland-Worthington and Greenup high schools, donations to the family resource centers at the three schools, food baskets at Thanksgiving, the Russell FOP shop with a cop program, the Flatwoods library’s summer reading program and other similar programs to help children.