7th Annual Kelly Roggensack Memorial Races
Rain Doesn't Slow Down Roggensack Runners
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Runners packed the pre-race registration room as record numbers turned out for day-of entry into the 7th Annual Kelly Roggensack Memorial Races. The large numbers came despite some cold, dreary weather and a new start time for race.
"Usually on race day we have 50 to 60 people come who didn't pre-register. This time we had over 100," said race organizer Don Bennette. "It really made the race larger than we expected despite the cold weather and the rain."
Not only did the weather not scare off many runners but it also cooperated well with the timing of the race, stopping about ten minutes before the 10:30 am start and picking up again once both the 5K Run/3K Walk and 1K Kids Fun Run had already completed.
The event marked the seventh annual celebration of the joyous life of FUS student Kelly Roggensack who died in a car accident in 2008. One new addition to the race, the Wackiest Costume Contest, particularly honored the former Baron runner in the mind of her parents.
"There's lots of 5k runs but the fact that the costumes are a part of this is kind of special," Kelly's father, Jeff Roggensack said. "You get to see people smile and look and say 'hey that's a great outfit'."
Those smiles and the fun nature of the event are what Cheryl Roggensack, Kelly's mother, said represent Kelly's life and personality the most.
"It's a joyful celebration of a kid who truly lived every day of her life," Cheryl said. "This event keeps her spirit alive because she was such a joyful spirit."
The overall winner of the 5K Run was FUS assistant cross country coach Shaun McKeegan with a time of 18:32. McKeegan also finished in second place in last year's race. Megan O'Keefe, sister of FUS volleyball player Amy O'Keefe, was the female overall winner with a time of 21:14.
With almost 200 runners, the seventh version of the race stayed fairly consistent with its recent attendance numbers despite the rain. All profits will go to the Franciscan University cross country program.
Wackiest Costume Contest Winners!
Learn more about the inspiring life of Kelly Roggensack and Kelly's Garden