Fifth annual Chick-fil-A 10K set for Saturday

PARKERSBURG – Local runner and business owner George Angelos believes in giving back to his home community.

Five years ago, Angelos came up with an idea to combine his love for running with his ownership in the Chick-fil-A on Grand Central Avenue when he sponsored the Chick-fil-A 10K Road Race.

It was an immediate success, earning it the designation as the 10K state championship from the Road Runners Club of America.

On Saturday morning, the race will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Other than the News and Sentinel Half Marathon, which attracts an international field of runners, the Chick-fil-A has become the area’s biggest road race.

In addition to the 10K run and walk, there also is the Auntie Anne’s kids races. Between the two events, Angelos expects in excess of 400 participants.

Chip Allman, who serves as the race director for both the News and Sentinel Half Marathon and the Chick-fil-A, said the 10K distance of the race is a hit with many local runners and fills a void in the local running schedule, which is saturated with 5Ks, but was in need of a longer race.

Angelos patterned the race after two popular former races, the Parkersburg Road Run and the Mountain State Classic.

The popularity of the race is a tribute to Angelos and the 100 volunteers who help him put on the race. Even though it takes place on the same weekend as both the Relay For Life and the West Virginia State High School Track Meet, the Chick-fil-A not only will celebrate its fifth anniversary, but it gets bigger with each passing year.

And why not? Where else can you participate in a low-cost race on a historic course and receive both a moisture-resistant Tech running shirt and a Chick-fil-A meal? All children who participate in the Auntie Anne’s Kids Races receive a T-shirt, a medal and a meal.

The 10K run and walk is set to begin at 8 a.m. on 20th Street, next to Memorial Fieldhouse. With Stadium Field closed for construction, the traditional course has been altered, with runners finishing on Dudley Avenue.

Angelos and Allman have done their best to add some memorable touches to the race. One popular annual feature is the singing of the National Anthem by the Parkersburg High School A Capella Choir.

Angelos praises the work of the River City Runners Club members. On Thursday evening, they were busy stuffing more than 300 race packets for those participating in Saturday’s event.

Race Day registration will be available, at $25 for the 10K and $5 for the Kids races.