Record number cross finish line in Central Virginia’s premier foot race
The community comes together around this event unlike any other.
The day began with over 2,000 youngsters ages 5 to 12 participating in The First Market Kids Run. Matoaca Middle School sixth grader Randy Hahn ran away with the event with a very impressive clocking of 5:17.
In the main event, Randy’s brother Collin followed with a 39:35 to finish third in the 10 to 14 age group. Just ahead of Collin was friend and Warrior teammate Austin Correia, who crossed at 39:22. Other Chester-area residents who finished in the top 50 of their age groups included: John Hartka, Michele Hammer, Gary Fox, Jerry Hancock, Barron Cheatham, Jonathan Fox, Scott Garton, Ronda Bailey, Sarah Reiber, Guy Spiers, Mary Anne Williams, Kelsey Fletcher, Robert Cheives, Erin Hamaker, Josh McNamara, Terrence Graves, Christopher Calfee, Thomas Hartka, Christian Fox, Becky Skowron, Diane Berge, Megan Campbell, Sophia King, Natalie King and Bethany King.
The event is always more about participation than winning. Completing 6.2 miles is quite an accomplishment for most of the entrants. The thrill of crossing under the finish clock to the sound of a tremendous cheer lends each athlete a sense of victory.
Leila Harris, a Chester YMCA Training Team member and a teacher at Ettrick Elementary School, glowed with pride upon “running the entire distance.” Kim Thurston added: “I never even ran a mile before the training. Even when I was in high school, I was too cool to run in PE class.”
“I just registered for the James River Scramble and the McDonald’s Half Marathon,” chimed in Audrea Golden.
For others, the 10k is all about running in honor or memory of a loved one who has or is battling cancer. The beneficiary of the race is VCU’s Massey Cancer Center, recognized as one of the nation’s finest research and treatment facilities. The Chester training team raised $900 in its “Spare Change for Massey” campaign.
One of the YMCA participants, Carlton Lowry, shared this story of his 6.2 mile triumph: “I ran the whole event, except for a half block between Robinson and Davis. I walked to rest my lungs and legs. The legs hurt worse walking, so I started jogging again. Last year, we lost my wife’s mother to ovarian cancer, so I decided to run in honor of her. Sandra told me a little story of something her Mom told her when she was young. When she found a penny on the street, she felt it was her mother throwing down pennies from heaven, to let her know she was keeping an eye on her. I was about three quarters of the way to the circle at Allen Avenue when I spotted one of those very pennies. I said to myself, ‘OK, Big Mama, I’m finishing this one the way you want me to.’ I started running and didn’t stop ‘til I crossed the finish line. Sometimes, a little incentive goes a long way.”