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Runners and walkers take part in third annual New Year’s 5k

By Staff | Jan 11, 2019

Runners and walkers set off through the wet, but functional, 5k course on New Year's Day. Toni Milbourne

CHARLES TOWN — The Charles Town Rotary, in partnership with Jefferson Activities Group, hosted the third annual New Year’s Day 5k Run/Walk at Sam Michael’s Park. JAG is an offshoot of Bros and Bras, who has been involved with the event since the first year.

Despite the muddy fields due to an onslaught of recent rains, more than 100 participants turned out to make the trek through the park from start to finish. The course catered to all fitness levels, being challenging enough to motivate the competitive runner, but comfortable enough for the beginning runner or even the walker.

The run was self-timed and welcomed many returning participants as well as new ones.

“The course was better thnt I thought it would be, as far as the conditions,” said returning runner Nick Zaglifa, of Charles Town. “There were some wet spots, but some course changes were made to help.”

Those wet spots didn’t dampen the fun for first-time runner Ian King, of Shepherdstown. King was the first man to cross the finish line, finishing in “19:30ish,” he said.

King, who serves with the U.S. Coast Guard, just relocated to the area from Colorado.

“I just moved here last week,” King said, mentioning he heard about the race and decided to check it out.

Joining King was his friend, Molly Lesser, of Fort Collins, Colorado, who made the journey to West Virginia helping King with his move. Lesser, who also registered the morning of the race, was the first woman finisher, with a time of 22:55.

Runners and walkers continued to cross the finish line throughout the late morning following the 10 a.m. run start. Some ran, some walked and some did a combination of the two. Several people brought along their children and pets to participate.

At the conclusion of the run, participants journeyed to The Anvil Restaurant in Harpers Ferry for a post-race brunch, where awards were presented to the top finishers.

Rotary of Charles Town is one of 32,000 affiliates of Rotary International, the worlds’ first service club. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

JAG, along with Bros and Bras, offers a local fitness opportunity for those who wish to promote exercise and healthy living.