West Virginians win big in Times race

MARIETTA – Wood Countians dominated Sunday morning in the 2014 Marietta Times Y5 Road Race where nearly 160 racers participated in the 12th annual contest.

Olivia Collett, 12, from Parkersburg was first in the woman’s division. She crossed the finish line just behind overall winner Mike Cutright, 48, of Mineral Wells.

“I was in the lead until the last mile, but I’m just doing this for fun,” Collett said following the 5-kilometer race she finished in just more than 20 minutes.

A cross-country runner for VanDevender Middle School in Parkersburg, Collett said Sunday’s course from East Muskingum Park to Indian Acres Park, then back along the River Trail to East Muskingum, was flat.

“It was a good course, but I really like to have some hills,” Collett said.

She also took second place in Saturday’s Broughton invitational cross-country race.

Sunday’s road race was the first local race for Cutright, who just recently moved from Fredericksburg, Va., to Mineral Wells.

With an official time of 19:49, Cutright finished first among the runners and walkers.

“My goal was about 18 minutes, 30 seconds,” he said. “I’ve run the 5K in 18 minutes in the past. But I hope to get back into shape and become more involved with the River City Runners and Walkers.”

Sponsored by The Marietta Times, the Y5 Road Race is a collaboration with the Marietta Family YMCA and River City Runners and Walkers.

“It’s a great day for a race, and we finish in time for most people to get to church,” said Joe Terrell, sports coordinator for the YMCA.

He said runners from 8 to 80 years old participate in the road race every year.

Shawn Farrah, 41, of Devola was the third runner to cross the finish line Sunday. He also ran a half-marathon in Parkersburg last week.

“This race helps keep me motivated and in training,” he said. “I usually run at least four to five days a week.”

Carol Seely, 59, of Vienna was the first of the female walkers to step across the finish line Sunday.

“I started walking with the River City Runners and Walkers about seven years ago in the beginners class,” she said. “This race is one of a series of more than 20 our club sponsors each year. It’s not a difficult course, there aren’t many hills, but it’s always a challenge as I’m always racing against myself, trying to do better than last time.”

She said running keeps her energized.

“A lot of people who enter a race don’t compete, they just do it for the exercise,” Seely added. “Everyone who runs or walks should be congratulated.”

Next year Seely plans to join fellow walker Donna Graham, 64, of Lowell for a World Masters Track and Field race in France.

Graham often travels to foreign countries to participate in running and walking events.

“I was in Brazil for the World Masters event last year,” she said. “Before I started with the River City Runners and Walkers I had never been overseas.”

A former teacher in the Fort Frye District, Graham said she hated to walk, but after injuring her knee in 2000 she discovered that walking was good therapy, and she hasn’t stopped since.

“It was a life-changing moment,” she said.