Newman Takes Volvo Powertrain 5K

BY NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER

HAGERSTOWN, MD--At the horn, to start the Volvo Powertrain 5K, a pack of five runners broke away and sailed through the first mile in 5:05. Just past the mile marker, there is a significant hill and 26-year-old Zachary Newman put in a surge. "I wanted to shake the field out a bit so I hit the hill pretty hard," said Nelson who is a Project Manager with Callas Contractors. Only two other runners in the pack, 54-year-old Dave Shafer and 46-year-old Rob Hovermale stayed with Newman.

Shafer then opened up a few steps and Hovermale fell back while Newman stayed on Shafer's heels. At the three-mile mark, Newman used his youth and his speed to kick it in and take the victory in 16:24. Shafer (16:34) took second while Hovermale (16:51) was third.

The women's race was over just after the horn sounded to start the race as 34-year-old Amy Blanco jumped out front and never looked back stopping the clock at 18:22, good for 9th overall. The homemaker from Hagerstown, who runs for the Cumberland Valley Athletic Club, hit the first mile in 5:46. "I went out a little too fast and the hill just past Mile One slowed me down a bit," replied the mother of two when asked if she ran a good pace. "But I am happy with my time and this is only my second race back after the birth of my second child. Laurie Dymond (19:41) was over a minute back while Michelle Benshoff (19:42) finished a close third.

Former world-class runner Terry Baker, now the Vice President of Washington County and the Washington County Commissioner, was on hand to start the race and hand out awards. Baker had nothing but praise for Volvo. "Volvo has been here for some 50 years. They are the biggest employer in this county and they are a very big supporter of area charities and they are a mainstay in this community."

The race itself, held on August 28, is held all within the confines of the Volvo plant with no traffic. Proceeds from the event go to Washington County area charities. There were 101 finishers in the event which had cold drinks fruit, and bagels and cream cheese (or as we call it in NYC, a bagel with a schmear). Numerous random awards were given out including a golf outing for four, lots of dinner certificates, and the like. I lucked out and snagged a $25 gift card to a local eatery.