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Saturday, October 15, 2005 -- Wheeling, WV
Auggie's 5K Run & Walk (iPO Event Id#: 6852)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

Auggie's of the Past: [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004]

Photo by Julie Black
Thanking all of the fans
Auggie's 5K Run and Walk has been raising money for the Ohio County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the past seven plus years. It's a family event in more ways than one. The race director, Tom Rownd, celebrates this annual 5K with the help of his brother, mother, and more than 100 of his closest friends.

Though Tom's busy as the president of the Ohio Valley Runners Walkers Club (OVRWC), Auggie's is an event that's close to his heart. The 5K began in 1999 in memory of Tom's beloved cat, Auggie, who was killed accidentally. The race has become somewhat of a local icon thanks to the artwork of Ohio artist, Jack Hennen. "I've been doing this because it's for a great cause, and I used to run with Tom." Hennen explained, "We grew up across the street from one another, so I've known him since childhood." Primarily a sculptor in the Cincinnati area, Hennen takes time out of his busy schedule every year to produce the fabulous Auggie logos for the race shirts/wind jackets.

Photo by Julie Black
Leading the pack early morning
This year the weather was undeniably beautiful, sunny skies with a cool breeze. A local motorcycle policeman lead the runners on the flat, paved trail course as the walkers headed in the other direction.

At the halfway point one runner lead the pack. He was far ahead and Tom replied, "This could be a new course record." Dustin Meeker, 24, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio finished first with a time of 16:14. That's the second fastest course time ever, Ricky Moore holds the record (15:35). Meeker, a Wheeling Jesuit grad of 2004 is presently training for the Columbus Half Marathon. "Grad school keeps me busy, but I still get out to run about 60 miles a week. I'd say my 5K PR is 16:03. Auggie's course is scenic, that's a plus." Finishing in the top 10 in his last 8 recent races, look for Meeker to be at the top again in his next race.

Photo by Julie Black
A close finish uphill
At 35 years young first place female, Harriet Hunter (19:15), wears a lot of hats these days. This mother of three and coach of the John Glenn Track Team, has also been marathon training. "I've been running since high school, so for about 20 years now." said Hunter, "This is my third Auggie's race. I try to run all of the races Tom has a hand in. He does a great job." Hunter brought quite a few of her team to race at Auggie's, it was their first, but it won't be their last.

The first walker of the day, Jerry Goodwin, finished in 30 minutes. He's seen at many area races including the the Webark 5K Run and Walk where he took 1st in the walk this year in 29:55.

After all runners and walkers completed the course, it was time for Dominos Pizza and raffles prizes. Ed Tullius, who was 1st place at the 2004 Auggie's run, won himself a nice decorative item. Thanks to all who donated their time, efforts, and prizes as always.

Inspired by one, joined by many...

Photo by Julie Black
Lou (far right) with his gang
There were at least 6 racers who were wearing black t-shirts that said "Lou's Gang" on the front, and they addressed the 4-D's on the back (Dedication, Discipline, Determination, and Desire.) The leader of the gang is Lou Difilippo. Lou, 73, began his running hobby at 55 for better health. When he was told to take it easy because of heart problems, Lou didn't agree with the prescription. He had a heart stent (or stint), a wire-mesh tube that expands to hold the artery open, which has become the first choice of treatment for a heart attack. Lou was told that he would not run again for 2 months, but he decided to train and run the Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic. Amazingly, he beat his PR from the previous year.

"I continued my rehab of course." Exclaimed Lou in a matter of fact sort of way. "But I would come in all sweaty and they'd ask me, what were you doing? I said I just got done running 6 miles." Inspired by Lou's desire to never give up, two men in his rehab took him out to thank him. "They were 15 and 20 years younger than me, and they took me out to breakfast to thank me. They said I inspired them to stop being physical slobs (their words) and get in shape. They started walking, improved their diets, and lost lots of weight. They said they never felt better."

Thanks to Lou, lots of folks are picking up on the idea and joining his gang. "Just call me up, give a small donation and I'll send you a shirt. We've got folks in 14 states and even one foreign country. We have members who are young to 85 and many walkers. Make a commitment to try harder, and feel better." Promoting a healthy lifestyle is what Lou's Gang is all about.

If you're interested in becoming part of Lou's Gang call him at (740) 282-0816.