ROCKSPRINGS — Eastern 7th grader Connor Nolan was the overall winner of the Keep Your Fork 5K race held in memory of Brandi Thomas.
Shawnee State University runner Jess Cook was the overall top female finisher in the event.
The race is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year in memory of Thomas, raising funds for the Brandi Thomas Memorial Scholarship fund. Thomas died in 2002 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. She was a member of the Meigs cross country and track and field teams.
In addition to raising scholarship funds, the race serves to raise awareness for organ donation. Thomas was an organ donor.
The race takes its name from the story of a young woman who was nearing death from a terminal illness and made a final request of her rabbi.
The woman explained, ‘In all my years of attending church socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main courses were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork… The best is yet to come.”
A fork is included in each of the registration packets as a reminder to the runners.
For 2019, the race served as the final event in the River City Runners Race series.
While the 2020 race series will not begin until next year, there is one more race to be held in 2019 — the Jingle All the Way 5K. The Jingle All the Way 5K will take place on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. at Riverside Golf Course in Mason, W.Va. Registration takes place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on race day.
2019 Keep Your Fork 5K run/walk results
Male: Connor Nolan, 19:30; Hunter Parsons, 20:11; Andrew Monroe, 21:51; Female: Jess Cook, 21:48; Shannon Tennant, 24:10; Emma Johnson, 24:10.
Age group winners (does not include overall top three finishers)
Age 6-13 — Male: Jacob Roush, Luke Roush, Chance Estep, Braden Hawley and Braydin Thomas; Female: Palin Homan, Emma Kennedy, Andrea Mahr, Zoe Johnson, and Kaitlyn Smith.
Age 14-17 — Male: Ben Livengood and Cyle Kennedy; Female: Jewels Conley, Fawna McCloud, Elizabeth Fackler.
Age 18-22 — Male: Jared Kennedy, Tyler Fields, Dillon Mahr, Jacob Swindell and Hunter Livengood; Female: Kelsey Hudson, Sydney Kennedy and Maranda English.
Age 23-29 — Male: Garrett Riffle, Andrew O’Bryant, Justin May, Morgan Kennedy and Jeremiah Myers; Female: Hillary Ridgeway, Olivia Bevan, Jessica Kennedy, Cheryl O’Bryant and Ashley May.
Age 30-39 — Male: David S. Kennedy and Adam Thomas; Female: Bridgett Shoemaker, Renee Buckley, Elizabeth Long, Jennifer Smith and Natalie Metzger;
Age 40-49 — Male: Christopher Marazon, Greg Homan, Chris Eghert, Josh Witherell and Michael Roach; Female: Frances Wymbs, Monica Turner, Stacie ROach, Heather Hawley and Merica Sloan;
Age 50-59 — Male: Don Tillis, Brian Roush, Jimmer Soulsby, John Livengood and Jim Freeman; Female: Anna Vanderlaan, Penny ELam, Vickie Jones, Lori Neutzling and Kelli May;
Age 60 and over — Male: Richard Haft and Gale Shrimplin; Female: Deborah Grueser, Francie Shrimplin and Connie Quivey.
Donations for the scholarship fund may be made to The Brandi Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund, C/O Farmers Bank and Savings Co., PO Box 626, Pomeroy, OH 45769.
For more information on the River City Runners and the race series visit www.rivercityrunners1.com.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.