Tucker County’s Lucas Warner took first place in the Blackwater Canyon Half Marathon recently. The race from Thomas down the Canyon to Mill Race Park in Parsons typically draws around 120 runners from around the eastern United States.
Warner has won the race all three years it has been held, crossing the finish line this year at 1 hour 13 minutes and 39 seconds, a personal record and almost three minutes ahead of the second place finisher. Though a half marathon is officially 13.1 miles, this particular course measures closer to 13.3 miles, which means his 13.1 mile time would be 1:12:32. This is equivalent to a 5K pace of 18:33, or a 5:32 mile pace.
In addition to holding the course record for this race, in 2015 he broke the course record for Charleston’s Frozen Sasquatch 25K (15.5 miles), coming in nine minutes ahead of number 2 and breaking the previous course record by over three minutes with a time of 1:46:29.
And in 2020 Warner came in first in the Frozen Sasquatch 50K (31 miles), breaking the previous course record, which had stood for 6 years, by over a minute, with a time of 3:59:37. Both his Frozen Sasquatch course records still stand.
One of Warner’s favorite races is Tucker County’s own Highlands Sky 40 mile Trail Run, which has attracted nearly 200 athletes from all over the country every year since its founding in 2003. Warner has run the race each of the last 6 years, winning it twice, in 2016 and most recently in 2019, when he finished 29 minutes ahead of the second runner. Current weather and trail conditions have a lot of bearing on times in these races, which cover a lot of rugged and difficult terrain. His fastest time for this race was in 2015 when he covered the 40 miles in 5 hours 57 minutes 28seconds.
He has also run in half marathons in Veracruz, Mexico, and in 2011 in Segovia, Spain, where he took first place in his category.
He ran track and cross country all four years for Berea College in Kentucky, and all four years qualified for Nationals in both sports. In 2013 he broke Berea’s School record in the 3000 meter steeplechase.
Warner has been running both competitively and for fun nearly all his life. He says he got much of his early inspiration from hearing stories of his Grandfather Warner, who was a track and cross country star at Ohio State in the early 1930s.
Son of Denice Reese and John Warner of Hendricks, Lucas is a 2008 graduate of Tucker County High School where he was also an outstanding athlete in both track and cross country all four years. He made All State in cross country two years in a row, and his senior year he was State Runner-up in the 3200 meter run. His time of 10:08.8 in the 3200 still stands as the Tucker County school record.