Craighead, Buckwalter Top Legg Mason Field

BY SHEA RIEMENSCHNEIDER

HARRISBURG, PA--What better way to celebrate Labor Day than by running in the Legg Mason 5K Run/Walk at City Island? While some consider running labor, the runners of this race enjoyed a nice, early jog, which included finishing on the oldest metal-span bridge in the United States.

The bridge proved significant in many ways as returning champ Randy Haas, along with Mike Craighead and Matthew Wagoner all hit the Walnut Street Bridge together. "When I hit the bridge, I knew I had to take off as both Randy and Matt have great kicks," remarked Mike Craighead after his move paid off when he won the race with a time of 15:12. Also taking in money prizes were 2nd place finisher Matthew Wagoner (15:17), and Randy Haas (15:50) who took 3rd after pulling his hamstring in the last 100 yards.

Women also came out to participate and were led by Connie Buckwalter who finished 4th overall with a time of 17:51. Buckwalter and Wendy Nelson-Barrett battled early, with Buckwalter pulling away early in the first mile. "Wendy and I both went out hard and even though I got a lead I was always aware that she was close by the entire race. Wendy is a versatile runner and I knew I couldn't let down at anytime," explained Buckwalter. Nelson-Barrett happily settled for second with a time of 18:12 which is her fastest time since having a baby. Taking the last slot and finishing third was Lydia Becker who finished in 19:27.

Top Masters prizes went to Janet Jones (20:45) and, amazingly, Neal Riemenschneider (18:48). That guy can still run?

The race was a success as 254 people and numerous volunteers came out to support the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Institute, which the race benefited. City Island, home to the AA Harrisburg Senators baseball team, mini golf, train ride, and shops, also greeted the finishers with bagels, drinks, and all kinds of snacks. Summing the morning of September 3 up perfectly was none other than the men's champion Mike Craighead, "The competition was great and the cash prizes were a good incentive to run hard." The aforementioned Riemenschneider added neatly, "It was worth it just for the Doritos but I was also happy to help the Cancer Research Institute."