More than 700 runners pounded the pavement in Wheeling on Saturday at the 6th annual Lois Stobbs Veterans Memorial 10K, and they weren’t just running to get fit.
They were honoring over 200 of fellow runners who have bravely served our country.
After serving our country, running 6.2 miles on a brisk November morning seems simple.
But the Lois Stobbs 10K is more than just a race for veterans like Larry and Wes, who live right here in the Ohio Valley.
“It brings back a lot of memories of being in formation and running and training and it’s just a lot of fun,” said Wheeling Veteran Larry Jones.
“Left the army, uh, left service actually about 5 years ago and left Iraq about 11 years ago and wanted to see if I still had it in me,” added fellow Veteran, Wes Talkington.
No matter if the men and women served for the better part of their lives like Larry, or just recently like Wes, they all crossed the finish line to honor each others sacrifices– young or old, active duty or reserves– many carrying American flags and wearing military uniforms.
“Well, they are serving now and the soldiers, the older solider that they would see have put their time in. So they’ll be in their spot on day, and they need to know that they need to support them now so they can be supported later,” said Douglas Sargent, 1sg of 154th Military Police Company.
Douglas Sargent and his young soldiers finished the race quickly, but they stayed to the end to congratulate every one of the 212 men and women running who fought before them.
“It’s very inspirational to see the young troops. First you become a part of it, then it becomes a part of you,” added Jones.
And when runners got tired climbing up Wheeling Hill, Talkington said he thought about his times during active duty, and the unimaginable sacrifices that some have made, which made that hill seem not quite so tall.