THIRD PLACE FEMALE JENNY BRUENING NEARING THE FINISH.
NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER PHOTO

Pouring Rain at Green Circle 5K

BY NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER

WINCHESTER, VA--Quick, who remembers what unusual weather phenomenon occurred on October 8, 2005? Give up? It rained! For the first time in over a month, the Winchester area experienced a rainy day (my grass, once the envy of neighbors, now looks like everyone else’s, brown!). Of course, while area wheat farmers and apple orchardists were enthused, the volunteers at this race were, understandably, not as excited.

It has been said many times that rainy conditions at a race are not much of a problem for the runners, but a huge problem for the volunteers. This is most definitely true. A race held in the rain simply needs a hat with a good brim. As a runner, you get wet but it is no big deal. But as a volunteer, it becomes a miserable day. As I ran this race I made it a point to thank each volunteer I saw out there standing in the rain, soaking wet, helping us out. While the poor folks at the water stop didn’t have much business, they nevertheless were very enthusiastic and supportive of the runners.

Anyway, the race for first in both fields was a runaway. Local National Weather Service forecaster Brad Rippey (“I told you it was going to rain.”) charged out to the front and led the entire race finishing with a time of 17:24. “I just ran my own race and tried to stay focused through the whole course, “stated the easygoing Rippey who had to scoot out to catch his daughter’s dance recital. Finishing second was 25-year-old Chris Haines while Ray Bollock took third in 19:34.

For the women, 19-year-old Meghan Trahan also led from the gun as she sloshed her way to a 20:55 first place finish. “The rain didn’t bother me too much once we got going.” Finishing second was Emily Marehessault (23:35) while Jenny Bruening (24:35) took third.

The race proceeds go to completing the planned Green Circle paved path that will eventually be a 5-mile loop that will encircle Winchester. About 1.5 miles of the path is currently paved and the last mile of this event is run on the path. The Winchester Parks and Recreation Department is charged with the upkeep of the circle and they are the major sponsors of the event. They, along with the Shenandoah University physical therapy students, were out in force manning turns, putting out cones, controlling traffic, and doing a first rate job of putting on this event. Their hard efforts were very much appreciated by the 73 finishers. Afterwards, it was home for a hot shower and a relaxing day in front of the TV.