For The Independent
Even though the storms that had plagued the area all week had disappeared, it was still thundering through the streets of downtown Ashland on Saturday morning.
The Marshall University Thundering Herd produced both winners of the men's and women's divisions in the 23rd annual Summer Motion 10K race.
Huntington resident Steven Schoon, who works at Marshall, finished first overall with a time of 36:54. It was his first time navigating the course so he figured he might need a little help keeping pace.
The assistance came in the form of Adam Frohnapfel, who wasn’t entered in the race but needed the work for his upcoming season. The senior runs on the cross country and track teams for the Herd.
"I was really happy with my time today," said Schoon. "Adam just wanted to get a run in to help me along and help me reach my goal of 36 minutes."
“I knew this would be a really good workout for me,” Frohnapfel admitted. “Since I am a college student I didn't have the extra money to register.”
To prepare for the race, Schoon used his happy hour after work in a more productive way.
"We have a group of Marshall guys that run in Ritter Park called the 515 club because we run at 5:15 every weekday. We run in the heat of the day so I was ready for the race today."
Schoon separated himself after the two-mile mark with thehelp of an equipment malfunction.
"The guy who shot out to the lead had to stop and tie his shoe at the two-minute mark," exclaimed Schoon. "I kept my pace the whole time and didn't want to settle back. My miles were all around six minutes or below. I felt I stayed consistent the whole way."
Julia Galloway was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 40:41. She also resides in Huntington and is a member of Marshall's track team. She finished 7th overall.
"It is my first time in this race," claimed Galloway. "Everyone is so nice here. It was awesome.
"I just wanted to go out and have fun," she continued. "My goal was to break 40 minutes but I just didn't quite get there today. I just tried to stay consistent and not try to push it too hard and try to find other runners to pace myself with."
A very humid morning greeted the 191 runners, with ages ranging from 13 to 81, for their 8 a.m. start time on Central Avenue. An alternate route was used this year due to the construction on the 12th Street bridge after a truck hit a steel support beam back in May.
It was the first time in the history of the event that a different route was used.
Although the bridge might be the most difficult part of the race, many of the runners claimed they missed the challenging closing stretch of the race.
“When I looked online at the map of this race, I saw it went over the bridge,” said Schoon. “Since I run a lot of hills in the afternoon I don't think it would have affected me very much. I haven't run the course before so that might have helped me out.”
“I drove the regular course yesterday and I was excited about the downhill side of the bridge,” Galloway said.
Ashland native Missy Taylor, who impressively finished as the female runner-up for the second straight year with a time of 43:08, was prepared for the bridge’s absence.
"The bridge makes it more of a challenge," Taylor said. "It is a trademark of the race. I didn't need to change my strategy. I just go out and run."
Josh Holley, the second-place finisher on the men's side, liked the bridge but felt the elevation coming back down 13th street was plenty for him.
“It wasn't that much difference,” Holley said. “I didn't approach the race any differently.”
Holley left with more hardware as he won the family division medal with his father, Scottie, for the second consecutive year.
"Me and my dad run these races together. Dad has raced the last two years and we really like this race. It has the family award and a lot of races don't do that,” Holley said. “It's just a good time to get the family together and after we all go out to breakfast. We all have a great time."