The streets in downtown Williamson were lined with friends and families of runners participating in the 15th annual Hatfield & McCoy Marathon on Saturday morning.
The race brings in hundreds of folks from across the country and even Canada.
This is a big boost to the local economy, which needs all the help it can get.
More than 1,100 runners participated in either the full marathon, one of two half marathons or the 5K race that all started Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m.
Some runners finished early and some did not cross the finish line until late afternoon. But the local brethren of volunteers helped the Tug Valley Road Runners Club (TVRRC) put on another great event.
The race has really grown from the first year when there were probably a couple of hundred runners to one of the premier marathon events in the country. The local race held in Williamson, Matewan and the Tug Valley area is known to race enthusiasts across the United States.
Hats off to the TVRRC, their president David Hatfield, and all of those who help organize and run the event.
…. I have to put in a personal note and congratulate my daughter Erin (Lovern) Bevins who finished her first full marathon in her first attempt. Erin has become a dedicated runner and had run in half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks in the past, but this was her first 26.2 mile marathon. I’m very proud of her.
Belfry offensive and defensive lineman Cole Bentley recently attended summer camps at the University of Florida and University of South Carolina. The 6-foot-4, 255 pound sophomore will head up to Columbus, Ohio to attend the Ohio State camp this week. His grandfather Fred Bentley, a former local Golden Gloves boxer, has been taking his grandson to the camps. The elder Bentley said Cole will also attend the camp at Marshall.
… Mingo Central had two basketball players who made the Academic All-Conference team. Senior Julius Hatcher and freshman … Banks were named to the squad. They show that students can mix academics and athletics when participating in sports. Congrats to those two young student athletes.
…Pete Rose returned to manage a baseball team, but just for one day.
The 73-year-old Rose, who has the most career hits in major league history, was the skipper for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League on Monday.
Rose was managing the Cincinnati Reds in 1989 when he agreed to a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball. He later admitted that he bet on Reds games while running the team. Rose can take this one-game job because the Bluefish are not affiliated with any major league team. He has occasionally appeared at official events since his ban, with MLB’s permission.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or Twitter @KyleLovern)