159 run, walk in Y5 road race

Bright and early Sunday morning a crowd of 159 runners and walkers gathered on Front Street near East Muskingum Park to compete in the 2014 Marietta Times Y5 Road Race.

A 12-year-old was the first female to cross the finish line during the 12th annual road race.

Olivia Collett from Parkersburg finished just behind overall winner Mike Cutright, 48, of Mineral Wells.

“I was in the lead until the last mile, but I’m just doing this for fun,” Collett said following the 5-kilometer race that she finished in just over 20 minutes.

A cross-country runner for Vandevender Middle School in Parkersburg, she said Sunday’s course, which ran from East Muskingum Park to Indian Acres Park, then back along the River Trail to East Muskingum, was pretty flat.

“It was a good course, but I really like to have some hills,” Collett said.

She also took second place in Saturday’s Broughton invitational cross-country race.

Sunday’s road race was the first local race for Cutright, who just recently moved from Fredericksburg, Va., to Mineral Wells.

“I previously ran with the Virginia Runners Club for several years, but I haven’t been running much for the last six months,” he said. “I’m just getting back into it, but it feels pretty good.”

With an official run time of 19 minutes and 49 seconds, Cutright finished first among the runners and walkers who took part in the Sunday morning race.

“My goal was about 18 minutes, 30 seconds,” he said. “I’ve run the 5K in 18 minutes in the past. But I hope to get back into shape and become more involved with the River City Runners and Walkers.”

Sponsored by The Marietta Times, the Y5 Road Race is a collaboration with the Marietta Family YMCA and River City Runners and Walkers.

“It’s a great day for a race, and we finish in time for most people to get to church,” said Joe Terrell, sports coordinator for the YMCA.

He said runners from 8 to 80 years old participate in the road race every year.

“It’s basically a fun run for people to try and beat their last year’s time or just to spend some time with friends and help support the Y,” Terrell said. “And we want to have an impact on the local community.”

Shawn Farrah, 41, of Devola, was the third runner to cross the finish line Sunday. He also ran a half-marathon in Parkersburg last week.

“This race helps keep me motivated and in training,” he said. “I usually run at least four to five days a week.”

Carol Seely, 59, of Vienna was the first of the female walkers to step across the finish line Sunday.

“I started walking with the River City Runners and Walkers about 7 years ago in the beginners class,” she said. “This race is one of a series of more than 20 our club sponsors each year. It’s not a difficult course, there aren’t many hills, but it’s always a challenge as I’m always racing against myself, trying to do better than last time.”

She said running keeps her energized.

“A lot of people who enter a race don’t compete, they just do it for the exercise,” Seely added. “Everyone who runs or walks should be congratulated.”

Next year Seely plans to join fellow walker Donna Graham, 64, of Lowell for a World Masters Track and Field race in France.

Graham often travels to foreign countries to participate in running and walking events.

“I was in Brazil for the World Masters event last year,” she said. “Before I started with the River City Runners and Walkers I had never been overseas.”

A former teacher in the Fort Frye District, Graham said she hated to walk, but after injuring her knee in 2000 she discovered that walking was good therapy, and she hasn’t stopped since.

“It was a life-changing moment,” she said.

Mart Koning, 24, from the Netherlands, took third place in the age 20-24 category during Sunday’s road race.

A resident of Amsterdam, Koning is on a two-week visit with Judge Janet Dyar-Welch’s family, and decided to enter the race.

“My time was 25 minutes, 18 seconds,” he said. “But it’s a nice race, especially along the bike path along the river,” he said.