PARKERSBURG-During its 27-year tenure, fans of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon have witnessed some amazing events. But those crowded around the Market Street finish line on Aug. 16 will be treated to yet another owhen 26-year old Kristin Beatty breaks the tape at the 28th annual 13.1-mile race.
Beatty, a 2006 graduate of Parkersburg South High School, had been training with her fiance Mark Lambert to participate in the race. A member of the River City Runners and Walkers Club, Beatty had worked herself up to the 7-mile mark during training when an event occurred that forever changed her life.
"I was driving home one night when my car just completely stopped," said Beatty. "I got out to get some jumper cables out of the back of my car when a passing car hit me."
Photo by Jim Butta
Parkersburg South graduate Kristin Beatty trains in preparation of participating in the 28th Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Saturday, Aug. 16. Beatty had her right leg amputated after a vehicle accident in June.
The accident sent Beatty to the Camden Clark Medical Center, where she later was transported by ambulance to the Charleston Area Medical Center where her right leg was amputated because of the injuries she sustained in the accident.
"I remember telling the EMTs that this can't be happening," continued Beatty. "I just kept telling them that I had to get back home because I had to train the next day."
That wasn't going to happen.
Beatty's 1997 Pontiac Sunfire had broken down in the left-hand lane of the bridge crossing I-77, that takes traffic into Mineral Wells.
Witnesses reported that Beatty had her hazard lights on and reports indicated she had called for assistance to restart her vehicle.
A southbound 1997 Honda Civic was driven into the back of Beatty's vehicle, trapping her between the bumpers of the two cars.
An anonymous good Samaritan happened on the accident shortly after it occurred and was able to successfully apply a tourniquet to Beatty's leg before emergency medical services arrived.
"That tourniquet probably saved her life," Chief Deputy Shawn Graham of the Wood County Sheriff's Department said.
Three days after the accident, Beatty was back up and walking with the help of a walker and has been training for the half marathon ever since. She will compete in the 28th edition of the race with the help of a wheelchair, but is still registered as a runner and plans on finishing the final part of the race with the help of a walker.
"My motivation right now is just to get healthy and get back to walking and running as fast as I can," she said. "I'm doing as many races as I can no matter how injured I am."
Beatty and Lambert have competed in several races since the accident and were scheduled to compete in an 8K this weekend followed by a pair of races the following weekend.
"I want to live as normal a life as I can,'' Beatty said. "I don't want to change anything. I won't let anything get me down. I just want to live my life as I did. Just keep going on and trying to do better than I did before."
Both Beatty and Lambert understand, however, that the 13.1-mile race will have its challenges.
"She (Kristin) is tough," said Lambert. "I just want to show people that I want to do the same stuff as her. I've done a couple of half marathons before so I know what to expect. I am going to try and rely on those experiences to help us through this race."
They also will be receiving some additional help.
"At the current time we have had a good number of people who have volunteered to help," continued Lambert. "We will take turns pushing her along the course. She will start the race with the runners and she plans on crossing the finish line on her own."
Beatty, who was originally asked by race diretor Chip Allman to be the starter for the race, does have a message for all of those still deciding on whether or not to compete.
"Don't ever give up no matter what the circumstances," said Beatty. "Keep pushing and don't let things get you down or let anyone make you think that you don't belong."
Competitors in both the Half Marathon and the 2-Mile run as well as the Kids Races that will take place at Parkersburg High's Stadium Field on Sunday, Aug. 17, can still register by e-mail at NewsandSentinelHalfMarathon.com or can mail their applications to The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon, 519 Juliana Street, Parkersburg, WV 26101.