Cold temperatures and soggy ground didn’t deter 149 eager runners, from ages five through 65, from participating the the Mountain State Girls on the Run Jingle Bell 5K held in Parsons Saturday. Runners met at Parsons Volunteer Fire Department, turned down Fourth Street to Water St, across 219 and the Shavers Fork Bridge to the Bike Trail, through Mill Race Park and around the Nursery Bottom. They returned by way of the Blackfork Bridge, through Mill Race Park, back across Shavers Fork Bridge onto Water Street to Second Street proceeding onto Main Street and to the Finish Line at the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department.
There were 73 GOTR participants, 23 coaches and 53 other supportees who ran in the event.
Organizers of the event, coaches, parents and volunteers had Hot Chocolate and warm soup ready for the runners when they got to the fire hall. Mimi Kibler, of La Fontane Bakery, provide the bread for the event.
Performance Motors, of Parsons and Elkins, provided fleece headwarmers to each person who registered. All registered GOTR participants received a pair of new show made possible through a grant of $1,500 from Girls on the Run International.
Linda Tucci and Rachel Puelle of Parsons On Trac made connections to get a banner, which was placed at the intersection of US219 and WV72, for the event. The banner was donated by Tim Harris.
Many others volunteered for the event besides the coaches and parents. Goody Hair Products was a corporate sponsor who provided a table of hair products for the girls. Many came away with hair of multi colors.
The Parsons Volunteer Fire Department was of a great assistance by allowing the use of the fire department bay. Parsons volunteer fireman Preston Simmons was the ‘sweeper’ for the event. He braved the cold, in his fireman red coveralls, to ride an ATV at the tail end of the race, to keep the runners safe from traffic and to be of any assistance needed.
Other volunteers assisted by manning water stations and directing traffic. The Parsons City Police, the Tucker County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police directed traffic for the event.
Terry Evans, Council Director for Mountain State Girls on the Run, participated in her first GOTR event in 2007. “My friend’s daughter, Abbey, asked me to run a 5K with her in Mill Creek, I thought why not, it almost killed me” she laughed. Evans said “From then on I was hooked. I took a class at the Y, took coaches training, then in 2009 Jody Logar resigned as Council Director and I took over. I love it.”
The officials results are posted on the GOTR website at www.mountainstategotr.org. You can also like the on facebook.