Sternwheel Festival supported
MARIETTA – Runners and supporters of the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival gathered Saturday morning in East Muskingum Park for the fifth annual festival 5K Run and Walk.
A total of 213 racers of all ages – including little ones in strollers being pushed by parents – and children participated in the race that started and ended at the park, according to race organizer Evy Bryant.
The route of Saturday’s race began on Front Street in front of the park, to the Washington County Fairgrounds and along the bike path back to the park.
“We couldn’t have had this on a more beautiful morning or in a more beautiful setting,” Bryant said. “It’s wonderful to see so many children and even people pushing strollers.”
Proceeds from the registration fees went to help fund the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, which will be held Sept. 5-7 on the Ohio River Levee and along Greene and Front streets in downtown Marietta.
Scott Burnham, of Clarks Summit, Pa., who was the first across the finish line at 19:01.3.
“I learned about this from my fiancee who has been here and ran this race last year,” Burnham said. “This year, we had a wedding to attend here, so I decided to use this year’s event as training.”
A large number of children participated, many still in elementary and middle school. The first of these runners to cross the finish was Braden Lipot, of Beverly, who finished in fourth place at 20:53.1.
“It’s my new personal best time,” he proudly said though gasps for air.
Lipot said he runs cross country and track for Fort Frye Middle School and also decided to use Saturday’s race as a way to train.
“Cross country is coming up and I figured this could help me and I think it did,” he said.
Awards were given to runners and walkers for first, second and third places in several various age categories.
Bryant said this year’s race had 32 sponsors and the committee was aided by the River City Runners and Walkers Club.
“There are so many different facets of the sternwheel festival that at our meetings, this race is just a small conversation, so we really thank everyone for helping to make it run so smoothly,” she said. “This race is really just one big conglomerate of groups coming together for a good cause.”
Bryant added the race does two things, promoting good health and exercise while aiding the festival.