Marshall coach wins marathon for second time
HUNTINGTON — It was 43 degrees and sunny at 7 a.m. Sunday. A perfect morning for a run or walk in Ritter Park, a jog down city streets and through the Marshall University campus before crossing the goal-line in Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Marshall Thundering Herd men’s cross country assistant coach Caleb Bowen from Culloden certainly enjoyed it, breezing to his second triumph in the 26.2-mile Marshall University-St. Mary’s Marathon he won for the first time in 2016.
Bowen, 25, came in with a finishing time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 59 seconds that was more than seven minutes before runner-up Joseph Schwartz, 22, of Huntington ran across the goal line with a time of 2:52.27.
Female marathon winner Rachael Sanchez of Fairview, Texas, was ninth overall and posted a time of 2:59.31 in her first victory.
Half-marathon winners were Layne Boggess from Charlton Heights, West Virginia (1;14.12) for men and Missy Moore from Huntington (1:27.44) for women. HIMG 5K first-place finishers were Devin O’Sullivan of Grafton, West Virginia (male) and Whitney Moses from Henderson, West Virginia (female) with times of 21:25 and 21:24 respectively.
The HealthyTri-State.org event had 1,391 participants, including 312 who did the full marathon distance.
“A great race every year,” said Bowen, the runner-up in 2017, who was followed to the finish by his 48-year-old father Charley Bowen from Culloden in 26th place with a time of 3:16.59.
Bowen sprinted to the finish to beat his goal of finishing in less than 2:40, but said his ultimate goal was to win. A group of his Marshall runners cheered him through the final yards down the stadium field.
Marshall runners also helped their coach on the course.
“I give all the credit to my team,” Bowen said. “They cheered me on from 12 miles in. Some of them were (running with him). I had two or three guys each five miles.”
Sanchez, 31, is a police officer in Fairview, Texas, north of Dallas and close to the town of Frisco where the Marshall men’s basketball team won the 2018 Conference USA championship. She ran wearing a “Frisco Running Club” T-shirt.
She was a bicycle racer before beginning a law enforcement career.
“Bicycle racing isn’t conducive to that, it’s too time consuming,” she said. “You have to do a mile and a half (running) for some of the training tests to be hired for law enforcement, so it started with that. Then it got lonely, so I found some running groups.
“My friends, this is what they do, so I said ‘OK, I’ll do it too.’”
Sanchez broke three hours for the first time in her fourth marathon.
Boggess, who goes by the name “Forrest,” coaches the boys cross country and track teams at Riverside High School in Kanawha County. His personal trainer is WVU Tech head men’s cross country and assistant track coach Jeremy Bloom.
“We run about 100 miles a week,” Boggess, 34, said.
His weight was up to about 210 pounds four years ago and his wife, Heather Tolley, said they should go out and run a 5K race. He had fun and is still running.
Boggess is satisfied with the half-marathon distance.
“I have a lot of respect for people who go out and run (full marathons) for two to three hours,” he said.
Marathon sixth-place finisher Peter Baum, 32, from Minneapolis was involved in a serious vehicle crash in 2007 when his car hit a patch of ice on a drive from Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri. He had a severe spinal injury as well as significant damage to his chest and lungs, according to an email from Barnes-Jewish Hospital senior media relations coordinator Kendra Whittle.
Baum had extensive surgery in December 2007 and ran in his first marathon 10 months later. The Marshall race was his 15th post-surgery marathon. His time was 2:56.44.
Janet Turner, 56, from Mineral Wells, West Virginia, competed in the marathon with her paraplegic dog, Gordon, in a backpack. She represents Running for Rescues, a non-profit advocate for special needs dogs. Turner ran in the Huntington race for the fifth time and placed 279th with a time of 5:20.16.