Elimlim and Munanu Blitz Wheeling Course with Fast Times

by Clay Shaw

Wheeling, WV, Debbie Green Memorial 5K, October 3, 2021—John Elimlim of Kenya ran by himself through the streets of Wheeling to win the Debbie Green 5K Run for a Reason in 14:23.  The closest runner to him was the women’s champion Mary Munanu, also from Kenya, who ran the fantastic time of 15:54 to earn a sub-16-minute bonus. 

Race Director Ron Green was forced to cancel the 2020 event and to postpone the 2021 event until October.  Green said, “We’re excited to get back to doing our thing. Regardless of how things have gone, COVID doesn’t mean that kids stop getting cancer.  With the help of others, our group is working to help with that.  Whoever comes will get a first-class event.”  Ron intends that the 2022 race will be back in its normal weekend of August 6 and 7. 

Michael Quinn of Follansbee, WV was the second man in 16:27 and was the first master.  Jordan Hosey of Wheeling, WV was third man in 17:05.  Rylan Moore, 11, of Wheeling ran 19:57 to place sixth among the men! He really picked it up on the long, straight finish.

Daisy Kimeli of Kenya was second among women in 16:32.  Esther Wanjiru also of Kenya was third woman in 16:53.  Three of the top five runners overall, were women.  Haley Heitz of Rayland, OH was fourth in 20:39 and was top American.  Cathy Forsyth of Martins Ferry, OH was top master in 25:01 and was the eighth woman.

183 runners finished this 2021 edition, along with 195 walkers.  The race was held before the rains came; your photographers only got in a 5-mile bike ride after the event, before it rained steadily.

Top Women

  1. 15:54 Mary Munanu, 25, Kenya
  2. 16:32 Daisy Kimeli, 26, Kenya
  3. 16:53 Esther Wanjiru, 21, Kenya
  4. 20:39 Haley Heitz, 17, Shadyside, OH
  5. 24:55 Wendy Clark, 33, Harleton, TX

Top Men

  1. 14:23 John Elimlim, 30, Kenya
  2. 16:27 Michael Quinn, 40, Follansbee, WV
  3. 17:05 Jordan Hosey, 23, Wheeling, WV
  4. 17:33 Sean Flanagan, 34, Morgantown, WV
  5. 19:04 Cal McKeever, 16, Rayland, OH
Race Director Ron Green presents number 911 to Lt. John Sanders.


Debbie’s Dash is off, prior to the 5K.
Kids patiently waiting for the start of Debbie’s Dash.
Are we going to do this or not?
Just having fun at the Debbie Green 5K in Wheeling
Debbie Green 5K, a happy people photo.
Lucky girls and boys win bicycles after Debbie’s Dash.


2021 start of the Debbie Green 5K in Wheeling, WV
Mary Munanu of Kenya was the women’s champion in 15:54.
John Elimlim of Kenya won the 2021 Debbie Green 5K in 14:23.
John Davis of Wellsburg, WV at 71, ran a 24:57 and was 31st overall, winning his age group.
John Elimlim of Kenya won very easily in 14:23.
Mary Munanu of Kenya on the final straightaway would earn a sub-16 bonus with a 15:54 victory.
Mary Munanu of Kenya leads Daisy Kimeli through Downtown Wheeling.
Michael Quinn of Follansbee, WV was second male overall and top master in 16:27.
Cal McKeever of Rayland, OH was fifth among men with a 19:04.
Haley Heitz of Shadyside, OH was fourth female in 20:39.
Lynn Kaminski of Triadelphia, WV smiles with a 30:40.
Caroline Wack, 11, of Wheeling duels Conner Ball, 11, of Wheeling down the homestretch of the Debbie Green 5K.
Angalena Zucco #394 and Megan Smolenak #330, both of Saint Clairsville, OH, finish the Debbie Green 5k together.
Miguel Encinas of Bridgeport, OH carries the USA flag with names of the 13 soldiers tragically killed in Afghanistan at the Kabul Airport.


It’s celebration time in Wheeling, after the Debbie Green 5K.
Vicki Johnson of Morgantown, WV and Garrett Gilbert of Glen Dale, WV celebrate after finishing the Debbie Green 5K.
Folks are glad that the Debbie Green 5K is back.

Categories: Race Coverage

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