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Waddle, Sprigg take 5K run titles
More than 120 racers crowded downtown Cape Girardeau for the third annual Vicky Keller River Run.
After holding the first two five-kilometer races at Health South, this year's race was moved downtown to try to gather more interest and crowd support with the help of the River City Music Festival, which also is held this weekend.
"It just makes for a more exciting event this way," event coordinator Bill Hogan said.
Participants in the 5K race completed three laps of the downtown course made up of Main, Spanish, Broadway and Aquamsi streets.
Taking the overall 5K championship was former Southeast Missouri State runner Arthur Waddle. Waddle, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was a member of Southeast's track team from 1983 to 1987. He finished in 16 minutes, 44 seconds.
Overall women's champion Cindy Sprigg, who finished in 20 minutes, 58 seconds, said running the 1-mile laps is a nice change of pace from typical 5K races.
"One-mile loops are really neat for participation of the crowd," said Sprigg of Cape Girardeau. "It's different but nice."
Hogan said he hopes with such a strong turnout for this year's event, in the future the Vicky Keller run will remain part of the music festival.
"It's one of those things that will grow over the years," he said.
Racing under the heat of the sun, Sprigg said Saturday's race was not a race for personal records.
"The heat and the hill added another dimension to it," she said.
After taking time away from running once his collegiate career ended, Waddle said he now runs more than 50 miles a week.
"Even before I started running high school track, I ran as a kid just for the heck of it," he said.
Sprigg, who competes regularly in 5Ks, will compete in today's City of Roses Half Marathon. The half marathon, which starts at 7 a.m. at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau, will follow a new course this year, beginning and ending in Arena Park.
Although a competitive runner, Sprigg said today's half marathon will just be for fun, as she is in training to compete in a full marathon in the future.
"The competition is a great motivator to your training," she said.
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