Kirk, Spang Win One For Women’s Health

 

JOEL HEASLEY (LEFT) WITH WINNER DAN KIRK.
SUE MATHIAS PHOTO
BY SUE MATHIAS

LEWISBURG, PA--Dan Kirk of Danville and Edna Spang of Pittsburgh were the overall male and female finishers in the 7th Annual 5K Race for Women’s Health, held Saturday, April 29

Kirk, who competed in the Boston Marathon just two weeks before, ran a 17:39. Spang’s time was 21:17. Heidi Weller of Treverton won the Mid-Pack Finisher Award, placing 50th in a field of 99 runners. Weller’s award is named in memory of Carrie Smith-Belleson, a dedicated advocate for women’s-health issues.

Bright blue skies and cool temperatures graced the Race, which benefits Family Planning Plus, serving family health-care needs in five Central PA counties. Nearly $14,000 was raised from corporate sponsorships, donations, and entry fees.

Spang and Kirk took home the Betsey Reicherter Memorial Awards for their first place finishes. The award is named in memory of the former Board chairperson of Family Planning Plus.

 

EDNA SPANG, WOMEN’S WINNER.
SUE MATHIAS PHOTO
Overall

1. Dan Kirk 17:39
2. Randy Stroble 18:30
3. Fred Reichenbach 18:39
4. Douglas Miller 18:59
5. Pedro Romero 19:09
6. Doug Alton 19:16
7. Bill Hoffman 19:46
8. John Hunter 19:51
9. Caleb Carr 19:52
10. Fred Colyer 19:52
11. Keith Meyer 20:11
12. Stephen Wilcox, Jr 20:14
13. Derek Hitesman 20:27
14. Duane Heverly 20:36
15. Ed Hoffman 20:48
16. Jason Fritz 20:49
17. Michael Alonzo 20:51
18. Michael Gordon 20:56
19. Thomas Roth 21:11
20. Paul Hitesman 21:13
21. Edna Spang 21:17
22. Jim Baish 21:50

 

HAPPY FINISHER.
SUE MATHIAS PHOTO
23. Kirk Smith 21:54
24. Caitlin Curcurato 21:56
25. Kevin Wertman 21:57
26. Mark Cox 21:59
27. Evan Gordon 22:01
28. Donald Dingle 22:05
29. Paul Noll 22:12
30. David Michael 22:19
31. Rebecca Detrick 22:22
32. Rick Hueholt 22:25
33. Steve Pokorny 22:42
34. Brad Tanner 22:47
35. Michell McCottor 22:50
36. Richelle Fessler 22:53
37. John Peeler 22:56
38. David Witwer 23:23
39. David Zoch 23:28
40. Lori Fox 23:36
41. Eileen Gallagher 23:36
42. Hannah Bowen 23:39
43. Cheryl Stumpf 23:46
44. Noah Roseth 23:52
45. Nathaniel Martin 24:04
46. Barbara Martin 24:06
47. Mary Hollenbach 24:09
48. Lisa Boden 24:13
49. James Dibble 24:24
50. Heidi Weller 24:31

 

RG’S FREDDI CARLIP (LEFT) AND SHELLEY HEASLEY HUG AT
THE FINISH AFTER RUNNING THE 5K TOGETHER.
SUE MATHIAS PHOTO
 The Flow of Friendship

BY FREDDI CARLIP

Friends flow into and out of our lives. Things change. We change. Life flows.

Running is different. Our running friends may be younger or older; married or single; parents or not; male or female. Running levels life’s road. We are all in it together--injured, healthy, competitive or not. We may not see some running friends for months, but when we do…it’s like we saw them only yesterday. The connection is there, strong and unbroken. And sometimes, our running friends become our angels, watching out for us and giving us the courage to keep at it.

My Running Angel made herself known to me on the eve of the Race for Women’s Health as we got things ready for the next day’s race.

Shelley Heasley is a true running friend, and not just for me, but for countless others. You’ve read her wise words in this column. Shelley is always there to help at races. She has boundless enthusiasm and energy. Her exuberant cheers have brought home many a flagging runner with cries of, “You’re almost there; great job…Way to Go!”

The Race for Women’s Health was no exception and the recipient of Shelley’s giving nature that day was…me! I’m forever grateful.

Shelley decided we should run the race together. She had run Boston two weeks before and was still recovering. Shelley knew my racing confidence was way down. I hadn’t raced since New Year’s Eve and my training was nowhere near where it had been before my “sign encounter” last summer. Shelley pumped me up with her race-eve comments: If I’m slowing you down, Freddi, just let me know; We’re gonna have fun Girlfriend, and enjoy the race and the people; I’ll do my best to keep up with you; You are such a great person, Freddi and I’m glad you want to run with me…

This is the stuff that brings a person out of herself and motivates, because, I realized, it would be fun. And my mood changed.

At the race the next day, we lined up near the back and Shelley again reminded me to let her know if she was going too slow. Once the race started, she asked if the pace was good; not too slow. I laughed as I pushed to stay with Shelley who was right with me. Shelley kept up a conversation with me, cheered on other runners, laughed and joked and told me how well I was doing. I mostly gave one-word answers but felt so good; not because I was running very fast, but because I was having a ball. I waved at the people along the course and let Shelley know how wonderful I felt, deep inside. She kept encouraging me and telling me how good I was dong and how glad she was that I would run with her.

Before I knew it, we were approaching the finish and we kicked it in…together. Our time was about four minutes faster than I had expected. I couldn’t believe it; the clock had to be wrong.

We hugged and I began to cry. It was a moment which is now burned into my memory. Shelley told me over and over how well I did and how much she enjoyed our run. I couldn’t tell her enough how much her running with me meant. And how our friendship turned the race into something unforgettable. I remembered all my mom-daughter runs with Marcy. It’s been so long. And now, through friendship, this race became more than just another race.

Later, Shelley gave me a beautiful card. The words she wrote had me in tears all over again…beautiful, happy tears.

The last thing she wrote are the words I carry with me: Thanks, Freddi, for being you.

And, Shelley, thank you for being you; a shining example of friendship. Your inner light shines brightly. I’m grateful to feel its beautiful glow.