WILLIAMSON – The humidity and heat couldn’t stop the racers as they lined up to put in some miles for Crohn’s Disease on Friday afternoon.
The third annual Kicking Butt for Crohn’s disease 5k run/1 mile walk had a great turnout Friday afternoon at the Williamson Fieldhouse. The Event was held in honor of the late Jean Stanley who battled the disease for twenty years. Before the race, event coordinator and Jean’s daughter Tonya Cool addressed the racers; she spoke on the importance of educating people about the disease and gave thanks for the help and support that had made the event possible.
Among the racing field was 42 years young Susan Hagel, who had traveled from Norfolk, Virginia to compete in the event. Susan said, “I love this race and love this area; it is very beautiful here, I had a lot of time to rest my legs on the drive over here, I feel ready but you never know what will happen in a race, I just pray hard and run hard and hope for the best.”
Susan has won the women’s race two years in a row and did not disappoint this year finishing first for the women with a time of 24:39. Susan also has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
The fastest time for the 5k on the men’s side was Elkhorn City native Ryan Rowe; he completed the course in 21:10. The age divisions for the men and women ranged from 14 years old and under up to 69 years old.
Coming in first place in the one mile walk was 6 year old Chloe Kelley who edged out the competition with an impressive time of 15 minutes flat.
Also among the field was former Junior Olympic medalist Tim Caudill. Tim has been running since he was 14 years old, Tim ran track for Marshall University on a scholarship. This was Tim’s third year racing in the event; he runs ultra-marathons now.
Tondra Elkins, a member of The Tug Valley road Runners Club, said “I have ran a lot of races but what sets this apart is it’s class, this race is so well organized and the people are so supportive, you won’t find a better and more supportive group of people than right here.” Tondra is an employee of the Mingo County Board of Education and has been running races for the last three years.
After the race Tonya Cool spoke about how touched she was by the spirit of community and fellowship that everyone had brought to the race, she said “we do this every year in honor of my mother who passed away, the race is only one part of what we are doing here, It’s so great to see this many people who care and support the cause.” Tonya urges the importance of educating the public on Crohn’s disease.
The event was a huge success and raised plenty of money and awareness to the cause of Crohn’s disease research and support. Despite the heat and humidity racers and supporters of all ages enjoyed a good workout and a great time in support of Crohn’s disease.