Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

April 27, 2014

Young Life 5k attracts 94 participants to the Bluestone

SPRINGVILLE, Va. — The sun was warm, the asphalt was hot, but the event was cool, as 94 runners and walkers came out Sunday afternoon to participate in the second annual Young Life Bluefield 5k Run and 1-mile Fun Walk.

“I think this is the first event that has been held at this site,” Justin Cason, area director of Young Life Bluefield said. The race was held in the Bluestone Regional Business and Technology Park. “We had 65 participants last year in our inaugural 5k, so this has gone pretty well.”

First to the races. Joey Waltz, who works at Bluefield College, was the overall winner of the 5k with a time of 19:01.

“It’s a fun course,” he said, a few minutes after finishing the race. “I knew it was going to be hot, so I put tape on my feet so they wouldn’t burn. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but it was a good course.

“I ran this race with Chuck Allen in mind,” Waltz said. “He has had a foot injury and was unable to participate. I took on this run in his honor.”

Kristy French was tops among the women in the field. “It was a tough course, but even for as hot as it was, I had a good time.” French, a member of the Bluefield State College cross country team finished with a time of 23:30.

The real winners were the young people in the Young Life program.

Samuel Stowers, 18, a Graham High School senior said he got involved with Young Life in August 2013. He said that he and Cason go to the Bluefield Rescue Squad together every week, but added that, to him, the most important thing was to have someone he can talk with. He plans to attend Radford University in the fall, and wants to continue working with Young Life there.

Stowers, a member of the GHS soccer team, planned to run the 5k. “I run all the time in soccer,” he said. However, Morgan Rasnake, 16, a sophomore at GHS, said she was planning to do the one-mile fun walk.

“Justin and Katie (Cason’s wife) are great to be with,” Rasnake said. “I went to the fall weekend with them, and it was fun. It makes a real difference when you have someone you can talk with. You can talk with them about things you might not be able to talk about with your parents.”

Prior to the start of the race, Cason thanked all the racers, walkers and volunteers for supporting Young Life.

— Contact Bill Archer at


Young Life 5K

Top Overall Men

1. Joe Waltz 19:01. 2, Forrest Yates 19:53. 3, Logan Surface 22:58.

Top Overall Women

1, Kristy French 23:30. 2, Molly Land 23:50. 3, Katelyn Frye 27:09.

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