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Saturday, December 4, 1999 -- Wheeling
Santa Trot 5K Run/Walk
Story & photos by Julie Bertsch

Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4]
[Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Santa Trot 5K
Getting ready to start the 5K
Last year, the Santa Trot 5K had some very warm weather, and this year was no different. The temperature was climbing, as well as the number of participants entering the race. Santa hats were popping up everywhere, and jingle bells were heard as runners and walkers did their warm ups. Yes, the holiday spirit was certainly in the air that early December morning, even though it felt like a warm day in April!

The rolling course wound it's way past some residential areas, and shopping centers, with police escorts guiding traffic. The 5K course was out and back, with the turn around, ironically, on Saint Nicholas Way in Glen Holin.

Santa Trot 5K
Ricky Moore kicks it into overdrive to the finish
The Ohio Valley Runners Club hosted the 5K to benefit the American Red Cross, which has been serving the Ohio Valley of Wheeling for 85 years.

Over 100 people lined up on East Cove Avenue, and one well known runner lead the way. Ricky Moore was the Winner of the 1999 Debbie Green Memorial 5K, the Mickey Phipps 5K, and the Festival 5K. It's easy to see why this runner has a quite a history, and a reputation in the Wheeling area.

Ricky Moore, who is now currently running for West Liberty College, set the pace and lead the race to finish first overall with an excellent time of 16:19. Greg Clark (16:54), kept up a great pace as well to finish 2nd Overall, and Mitch Radella took 3rd with time of 18:08.

Santa Trot 5K
Heather O'Shea keeps up the steady pace
Running at a fast pace must run in the family, because Ricky Moore's cousin, who also runs for West Liberty College, set the pace for the women. Kristen Hetzel (Ricky's cousin), was back to claim 1st place Overall for the Women again by finishing with a time of 20:16. "You would think that running runs in the family," said Hetzel, "But Ricky and I are the ones who really inspire each other."

Finishing 2nd Overall for the Women was Jessica Melanko (20:39), and taking 3rd in the race for the women was Heather O'Shea with a time of 21:07.

Santa Trot 5K
Deanna Robinson, speed walking fast for 3rd
Making the trip from Pittsburgh, Steve Bence walked his way to a fast finish and took home the 1st Place Overall prize in the 5K Walk with a time of 27:49.

The 1st female to cross the finish line in the Walk was Kathy Campbell who had a time of 31:04.

No Santa Trot would be complete without the "Big Guy in Red". Santa Clause waited at the finish to greet everyone as they crossed and direct them to the Stone Presbyterian Church, where the awards ceremony was being held. Cookies, hot chocolate, and fruit was waiting as Race Director, John Nally and the Executive Director of the Ohio Valley Red Cross, Don Dunst, gave away the prizes.

Santa Trot 5K
Feeling fine in the warm December weather
The very special, Tom Nagem award was given to Denny Stephan. Next to Denny in the photo is Marty Stephan and Dave Hoskins.

Many volunteers helped out on and course and at the awards ceremony. The race was a great success once again, and many smiling faces seemed to agree. Lots of thanks goes out to the Ohio Valley Runners Club, the Wheeling police, and the Stone Presbyterian Church.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who made this race possible, and we'll see you in December 2000 for the next Santa Trot!