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Saturday, August 6, 2011 -- Wheeling, WV
Debbie Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk for Leukemia (iPO Event Id#: 13350)

2011: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos]
Results: [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [More Results] [More Results]

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Making a Difference for 14 Years

Story and Photos by Julie Black.

Kelsey Baboul
Kelsey Baboul (center) is one of this years recipients.
Since its inception in 1997, the Debbie Green Memorial 5K for Leukemia has donated thousands of dollars coming from race proceeds to help local families pay for the cost of fighting cancer. The race has grown so big that it moved from its home in Benwood to downtown Wheeling, West Virginia.

Ron Green has been the head coordinator with the help of a faithful crew, Terri Whitecotton and George and Bonnie Maceck among others. Green holds the race in honor of his sister, who died of Leukemia when she was just 7 years old. The children's run called "Debbie's Dash" is also in her honor.

The event is a community favorite and it's not hard to see why. iPlayOutside has been there since 1998, watching the memories unfold.

Shelley Hanson of The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register wrote,

    "This year's recipients are Melissa Norris, 43, of Jacobsburg; Kelsey Baboul, 16, daughter of George and Lucy Baboul of St. Clairsville; and Dakota McCardle, 13, son of Barbara and Tom McCardle of Martins Ferry. Last year, when Kelsey Baboul learned the Debbie Green race needed volunteers, she was one of the first students to raise her hands to participate. A month later, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia."

Cancer is a disease that seems to touch all of our lives in some way or another. This event is doing it's part to really help the local fight and put a face with the cause.

Not only does the 5K attract many local runners and walkers, but it also attracts some high profile names from the running world. Julius Koskei, a professional runner from Kenya, battled Christian Hesch of Hollywood, California. Hesch led for about half the race, but Koskei soon took over and increased his lead with every stride.

Koskei told Josh Strope of The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register,

    ''I was getting tired but I knew it was better for me to push,'' Koskei said. ''If I slowed down, the guys were going to catch me. (Hesch) would have beat me.''

Julius Koskei
Julius Koskei, overall winner
Julius Koskei finished first with a time of 14:22, just 2 seconds off of Demesse Tefera's top time in 2009. Christian Hesch (14:29) was second and the first American finisher. Derese Deniboba was third respectively with a time of 14:30.

Alemtsehay Misganaw from Ethiopian, who now resides in the New York City/New Jersey area of the East Coast returned to Wheeling, the last time being in 2009 for the Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic where she finished as the first female overall and 4th overall. In the Debbie Green 5k, Misganaw finished as the first female in 17:01. Annie Beechman (17:21) was 2nd and Anna Beck (17:54) took home 3rd.

Carl Kondrach produced a fast walk in 28:49, Chris Stadler (29:37) followed and Mouse Yoker (30:32) was third. Part of the Debbie Green race crew, George Macek (30:40), who has made a comeback from knee surgery was 4th.

Karen Wright (30:58) was 5th overall in the walk and the first female walker to finish. Erica Chauret and Kathy Ervin rounded out the top spots.

For the Record . . .

Congrats to our friend, Ed Tullius, who finally won The "Play It Again Sports Challenge" Green Mile on Friday night. He ran a 4:53 to take home the first place honors. After years of experience, the 37 year old Tullius used his veteran course know-how to come out ahead. Way to go Ed!

Make Plans for 2012 . . .

The Debbie Green 5K Race for a Reason has a new website, check it out at: