By Kevin Jackson, AMCNovember 17, 2016
McALESTER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, Okla. -- A couple from nearby Krebs, Oklahoma, turned the Morale, Welfare and Recreation-hosted Veterans 5K Fun Run/Walk here into a family affair by running away with top honors, November 5.
Leroy and Zella Boatright competing in the men's and women's 40-49 age categories and ran away from the field of 46 competitors to claim first place finishes.
Leroy owned the event, finished first overall in 21 minutes and 5.79 seconds, nearly one minute and 45 seconds ahead of overall second place finisher, Jeremy Null.
The winning time was one minute and 20 seconds off the pace set by Vincente Detels' in last year's race.
Zella was the first woman across the finish line and the fourth overall in 24 minutes and 23.64 seconds. Jacqueline Heathcock, running in the 20 to 29 age category, was the second woman and ninth overall finisher. She finished in 28 minutes and 52.58 seconds.
Other top finishers were Jason Ward, men's age 30-39, 24:09.14; Sean Herron, men's age 40-49, 24:39.65; Steve Harrison, men's age 60-69, 25:35.52; Kaden Webb, boy's age 14-19, 27:27.71; Terrence Isom, men's age 20-29, 28:42.93; and Bobby Parker, men's age 40-49 with a time of 29:33.43.
Harrison, as the former mayor of McAlester, is well acquainted with the ammo plant, but it was the first time the veteran runner of more than 40 years saw the main thoroughfare from the pavement.
"It was a great day and an opportunity get some exercise with a lot of great people," said Harrison, who has participated in five running events this year.
"Another thing I liked about this race that I didn't know until I got here, is that it's all free. Where else do you get to race and receive a free t-shirt?"
The top three finishers in each of the 12 gender and age categories received medals and every participant left with a goody bag that included an event t-shirt.
The last running event, a 5K Family Fun Run/Walk, was held on Oct. 17, 2015.
Forty-eight runners participated in this USA Track and Field-sanctioned event along C-Tree Road in the administrative area during a clear, 58-degree morning.
"The weather, being cooler was a plus for the runners, and the event helps to keep MCAAP connected to the surrounding community," said Robby VanVekoven, MCAAP sports and fitness director, and event organizer. "It was also an opportunity to test our new timing system that we hope to use much more in the future."
MCAAP is one of 14 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial base facilities under the U.S. Army Materiel Command.