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Saturday, November 10, 2012 -- Wheeling, WV
Veterans Day 10K Run & Walk (iPO Event Id#: 14126)

2012: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos]
Results: [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [More Results] [More Results] [More Results] [More Results]

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Honoring Veterans; Showing Support

Story and Photos by Theresa Svoboda .

2012 Veterans Day 10K
Thanking our veterans.
See more race photos.
When the overall mood as the spectator of local race is felt, most folks will tell you: there's apprehension and competitiveness in the air. There's a drive for passion for fitness and fun felt. The "typical" race vibe is this: participants, while smiling, will glance over at fellow competitors, figure out who they will pace, who they will go up against and who will be the victor.

The Veteran's Day 10k held in Wheeling, W.V. was no different in the competitive sense, but the underlying vibe was unforgettable. I felt honored to spend my Veteran's Day in the presence of some real heroes. This vibe, I thought, was unique and raw. I felt humility and honor. I felt pride for our country and those honored. I felt fellowship with my American neighbors.

It was an unforgettable day for myself and others as the flag was raised and the trumpets blared our National Anthem.

Race participants included civilians and Vets, along with spectators of the same mix, as we solemnly honored the greatness we were in the presence of, and the past ghosts felt in the moments reciting the National Anthem.

2012 Veterans Day 10K
Showing our veterans support.
See more race photos.
This was no ordinary race. The pace car contained a sacred memory, carrying a medal of honor recipient, the highest military decoration presented by the U.S. government to a member of its armed forces.

Recipients of the Medal of Honor must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Thank you. Leading the parade and bipedal, was honorary Vet Miguel Encinas, of Bridgeport, Ohio. Miguel had lost 7 comrades in his unit during the call of duty. Thank you.

Behind him was Purple Heart recipient David Dawson, who, with the support of his Veteran wife Nicole, whom he met in Texas during basic training, crossed the finish line smiling. Thank you.

Father and son Veteran teams crossed hand in hand: to Bruce McKinstry Sr. and Bruce Jr., and James and Michael Fitzsimmons, thank you.

Veteran runner and walkers fees were waived by organizers, but with such strong participation, The Vet's Day 3rd annual race had hopes of contributing even more to the Paralyzed Veteran's of America.

2012 Veterans Day 10K
Local runners help the cause.
See more race photos.
In fellowship, local champions were out in full force, as Cedric Robinson continued to be the man to beat, coming in first place, just shy of 36 minutes. Wheeling natives Albert Schrimp and Jeff Wesolowski followed in their respective places.

First place Veteran winner Ted Nites came in with an impressionable finish of 42 minutes and 52 seconds.

In second was Vet JD Wilhelm and taking third, Veteran Ryan Johnson crossed the line.

For the women, racer Christine Lewis placed first with an impressive time of 41 minutes and 51 seconds. Following her, Sherri Martin, a PA native just beat out third place winner Heather Wayt with just 12 seconds to separate the two.

Congratulations to all the organizers and participants who made this event spectacular. Commentating the race, Joe Moreno and Hugh Stobbs provided special moments of insight and stories for many that crossed the finish line.

This was not just a race, this was a special moment in life, where we could all stop and pause and thank and not ever forget how lucky we are to have the freedom to tell our stories and be a part of a democracy we can always offer appreciation to. Thank you, Veterans!