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Saturday, June 12, 2010 -- Fairmont, WV
Run to Read Races (iPO Event Id#: 12628)

2010: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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Some Run One, Some Run Two

Article and photos by J.R. Petsko.

For more than 10 years area runners have been taking part in the annual Run to Read Races and this year was no different. The event is different than your typical 5K or 15K since it presents different races with difference distances on the same day. It is a pretty novel idea really; many of the seasoned area runners actually take part in both run to do a total of 20K.

Run to Read Photo by J.R. Petsko
See more Run to Read race photos.
When I showed up on the scene this past Saturday I saw familiar faces all around and my old friend Jim Banks was there. I yelled to him, "What race you doing Jim, the 5K or the 15K?" He replied, "Both!" in a familiar tone. I was unaware that doing both races was like a badge of honor for most local runners. Jim was not alone in taking part in both runs on the day, as many others did the same.

First off was the 15K race. Sixty runners lined up just before 7:30 am to race the quiet streets of Fairmont, West Virginia. The 15K course was a two lap event, which I personally love because it allows me to see more of the action. "GO!" the starter said.

Up front early was a group that contained Mark Offutt, Woody Snoberger, Brian Menzies, and Jobey Knapton.

The pace was pushed early and often by Knapton, who produced a gap between the other runners just minutes into the event. The followers seem content to let Knapton go as they continued to run their own pace. While many runners finished their first lap, Knapton was already holding onto more than a five minute lead on his next competitor. He took the win in 54:58, which is a blistering 5:55 minute a mile pace.

Woody Snoberger had a hold of the second place spot, but was followed closely behind local and long time area runner Mark Offutt. The two runners were less than a minute apart at the halfway point and still battling in it out. A little further back was Brian Menzies and James Work, just seconds apart from each other. It was Snoberger who took second in 1:02:13, followed by Offutt in 1:03:39. Fourth for the men was Menzies in 1:06:08. James Work rounded out the top five.

For the women, Jen Sober of McHenry, Marylnd wade making light work of the 15K course. Averaging 7:09 minutes a mile, Sober completed the 15K in 1:06:26. She was followed by Violet Caron of Morgantown, WV in second with a finishing time of 1:08:46. Third was Erika Rucker in 1:14:57, followed by Misty Border of Front Royal, WV. Rounding out the top five for the women was Sue Miltenberger, also of Morgantown.

5K Run Low-Down

Run to Read Photo by J.R. Petsko
Jen Sober Heads to the finish.
See more Run to Read race photos.
As the 15K came to a close it was time to start the 5K event which consisted of a run and a walk. Like the 15K course it was a two lap loop.

Neil Bland, Alex Myers, TJ Abel, Josh Mason and Chris Hedie made it a fast start as the five men took off from the start line. The leaders all had fresh legs as none of them took part in the mornings 15K. All five were capable of running a 6:00 minute mile pace, so everyone was one guard.

Lap one belonged to TJ Abel who was hammering a blistering pace on the course. Bland, Myers, Mason and Hedie were running neck and neck. Second through fifth were so close to each other they could literally reach out and touch one another.

First to finish was Abel in 17:37. His was followed by Myers (18:50) and Bland (19:02).

In fourth was Joshua Mason (19:29), and rounding out the top five was Chris Hedie (20:12).

It was Jen Sober's race for the taking that day, claiming her second win on the same course. Sober finished as the first woman again as she had in the 15K, running the 5K in 21:02. Second was local Chelsea Clark of Fairmont who crossed the line in 21:31. Chris Ruberto (24:16), was the third female and fourth went to Mary Edwards (24:20) who was just seconds back from Ruberto. Rounding out the top five for the women was Sue Miltenburger.

Great job to everyone, but I want to give a personal "shout out" to the top three male and female runners who took part in both races. For the men, Mark Offutt had the best total time in 1:24:00. Eric Joe had the seconded best total time in 1:31:00, and my friend Jim Banks was third with a total time of 1:35:00.

My 'Rock Star Award' goes to Jen Sober whose total time for both events was 1:27:00. Sober was followed by Sue Miltenburger (1:40:00).

Don't miss the next Run to Read event to benefit the Literacy Volunteers of Marion County on January 8, 2011. Learn more about it at