By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Next week, members of the community will have an opportunity to put their aerobic abilities to the test while showing their support for veterans’ education at the third annual Pierpont Veterans 5K.
The road race, formerly known as the Making Connections 5K, is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Veterans’ Square Plaza.
Ron Weist, race director and director of community education for Pierpont Community & Technical College, said the uphill course makes the race the “toughest 5K in West Virginia.” Participants will begin at Veterans’ Square, go one block up Adams Street and then make a left to cross the Mollohan Bridge before attacking the incline up the Gateway Connector. Once participants reach the Vietnam War and Korean War memorials, they will turn around and run back along the path they came.
“The challenge of the race comes in that hill,” Weist said. “We refer to it as ‘climbing the Connector.’ It’s a steady climb for a full mile.”
Weist also said the course is symbolic of the reason behind the event — supporting veterans.
“The point of the race is to raise money for veterans’ education and scholarships,” Weist said. “It’s symbolic that participants will be running from Veterans’ Square to the veterans’ memorials as well as the fact that our veterans have climbed a lot of hills for us, and us doing so is our thanks to them.”
In addition to the 5K, several other activities will be held during the event. Children 10 and under can participate in the Kids’ K race that begins at 6:15 p.m. Participants will begin at Veterans’ Square and run to the courthouse and back. Registration for the Kids’ K is free, and each child will receive a T-shirt, medal and other prizes. Weist said members of Pierpont’s Student Veterans Association will be at the finish line to present the children with their medals.