PARKERSBURG - It's hard to stand out in a crowd of 1,866 participants, unless your name is Julius Kogo.
Of all those who completed Saturday's News and Sentinel Half Marathon and Two Mile Race, it was Kogo who stole the spotlight, claiming his fifth straight half marathon championship in Parkersburg and doing so in dominating fashion.
The 29-year-old Kenyan finished the 13.1-mile half marathon in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 25 seconds, easily outdistancing his fellow countrymen, Jacob Chemtai and Betram Keter, who placed second and third.
Photo by Jay W. Bennet
Julius Kogo leads runners from the start of the News and Sentinel Half Marathon. Thousands of photos are available on cu.newsandsentinel.com.
Kenyans also swept the top spots in the women's half marathon with first-time Parkersburg starter Cynthia Limo appropriately finishing in a time of all 1s -1 hour, 11 minutes and 11 seconds. She was followed to the finish line by Lilian Mariita and Sophy Jepchirchir.
A cool August morning greeted the 794 runners and 76 walkers who completed the half marathon and the 799 runners and 197 walkers who crossed the finish line in the Two Mile Race.
The latter once again was won by an Ohio University runner as Kody Wolfe, a Southern High School graduate who is a member of the Bobcats cross country team, broke the tape in 10 minutes and 12 seconds. Wolfe's victory made it 13 wins in 14 years for runners affiliated with Ohio University as Warren Local High School and OU runners Jason Linton and Tyler Cantley each won the race six times.
Parkersburg High School track and cross country standout Nic Cheuvront managed to challenge Wolfe for the first mile. Cheuvront placed second with teammate Scott Barker taking third. Both were members of the Big Reds state track championship team earlier this year.
Claiming the female 2-mile title was former St. Marys High School standout Jenny Brewer, who runs for Alderson-Broaddus University. Her winning time of 11 minutes, 49 seconds not only was a new course record, but beat the previous mark by 20 seconds. Desirae Schoonover, of West Union, was the runner-up with Madison Trippett, of Parkersburg, placing third.
The half marathon walk winners are quite familiar with one another as Owego, N.Y., residents Dave Talcott and his wife Erin both captured titles on their first trip to Parkersburg. In fact, Erin beat her husband with her winning time of 1:49:51 while he crossed the finish line in 1:50:29.
In the two-mile walk competition, Alex Thoburn, of Paden City, cruised to victory in the men's division in a time of 19:56 while Patti Schwendeman, of Lowell, won the women's title in 21:58.