Rain or shine, expect a flood of runners and walkers along Front Street and the River Trail between Marietta's East Muskingum and Indian Acres parks on Sunday at 8 a.m. At that time, the 12th annual Marietta Times Y5 Road Race will be underway.
The fellowship event -which had its origins in 2003 and was held in Devola before 2011 - is a major fundraiser for the Marietta Family YMCA. Proceeds raised go to support scholarships for children at the Y.
This year's races, a 5K run/walk and tot trot, will be coming on the heels of Saturday's Broughton prep cross country invitational in Marietta and last weekend's international half marathon competition in Parkersburg.
In past races, the Y5 has attracted some quality local runners, like for instance last year's winner Jason Lipot of Beverly.
Lipot, now the Fort Frye boys and girls cross country coach, broke the tape at the finish with what later was diagnosed as a stress fracture of the tibia below the left knee. He's better now but is not expected to return and defend his Y5 men's title.
"I was in excruciating pain at the finish," recalled Lipot. "I thought it was a bad knee injury. I went to the hospital afterwards, and learned I had a stress fracture. It took me a long time to recover. It took me a whole year to get back in shape."
Lipot said he recently ran a 5K in Hawaii. On Saturday, the 41-year-old runner will be coaching the Cadets in the Broughton invite.
One of the younger runners, 10-year-old Emilee Ellison of Parkersburg was the Y5 ladies' 2013 first-placer in a clocking of 24 minutes, 19.45 seconds.
Some other elite area competitors, to name a few, have been David Miller of Athens, former MHS standout Katie Wieferich, Cindy Martinsen of Williamstown, Doug Jones of Crawfordsville, Ind., Amanda Schaad of Fleming, Randy Petit of Marietta, Brenda Anderson of Circleville, former Caldwell star Brian Hesson, and ex-Big Red Randy Gibbs.
In the 2009 run in Devola, Gibbs narrowly edged Hesson by about six seconds at the finish line.
On the race walk side, Donna Graham of Lowell and Tim Finkel of Marietta have been two of the better ones to toe the starting line.
If anyone is interested in competing in Y5 Sunday, the day of the race registration fee is $20 for the 5K run or walk, and $8 for the tot trot. Registraton on race day is from 7 to 7:30 a.m.
A limited number of T-shirts will be available.
More information can be obtained at 373-2250, or www.mariettaymca.org.