Gaining momentum (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

River Run sees more runners take part in second year

For its second year, the number of participants in the Ironton River Run increased by 25 percent.

“We had more than 80 today,” Amanda Cleary, co-founder of nonprofit Third and Center, the group organizing the 5K race, said. “And we have so many young people this year.”

Email newsletter signup

Among those were members of the Packers cross country team at St. Lawrence Elementary School, who had a dozen children taking part in the event.

This is the second year for the event, which launched last year with 60 racers.

Sirdon Andra, 23, of Ironton, finishes in first place in the second annual Ironton River Run on Saturday. His time was 19:48.4 (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Neil Johnson, 48, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, came in second place in the second annual Ironton River Run on Saturday. His time was 20:41.0. Johnson was the first place finisher in last year’s event. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Coming in first place this year was Sirdon Andra, 23, of Ironton, who took an early lead at the start of the race. He came in with a time of 19:48.4, completing the route nearly a minute ahead of his nearest competitor.

Andra, who is a familiar sight running regularly in downtown Ironton, said he finds it to be “a good stress reliever.”

Coming in second was last year’s first place finisher, Neil Johnson, 48, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, with a time of 20:41.0. And behind him was Reed Runyon, 10, of Ashland, Kentucky, in third at 23:35.2, the top finishing child in the event.

Runners came mostly from the immediate area, but there were some from as far away as Chillicothe and Milton, West Virginia.

Traveling the furthest to take part in the event was Marshall Edwards, of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, who made a nearly 80-mile drive to compete.

“I’ll definitely be back next year,” Edwards, who finished 13th overall, said.

This year’s starting point was moved from the Rotary Fountain to the Ironton riverfront, a move Cleary said was made to take participants past the floodwall murals, for which Third and Center has worked to revitalize.

Proceeds from the event will go toward Third and Center’s community projects, which include floodwall murals, riverfront beautification and the “A Playground for All” project to install accessible playground equipment at the Etna Street Park.

“Because of the race, we were able to reclaim a park at Moulton’s Field,” Cleary said, thanking local artists who worked on new murals there in advance of the race, which ran past the park. “And we are also able to have new riverfront murals.”

Reed Runyon, 10, of Ashland, Kentucky, finishes the Ironton River run in third place on Saturday. His time was 23:35.2 and he was the top finishing child in the event. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Those attending the event could also see the fruits of that effort, with a mural being worked on live on the floodwall Saturday evening.

Third and Center has organized multiple community events, including the Summer Solstice Music and Arts Festival in the summer. For more information on the group and its projects, visit

2022 Ironton River Run Top 20
1. Sirdon Andra, Ironton
2. Neil Johnson, Catlettsburg, Kentucky
3. Reed Runyon, Ashland, Kentucky
4. Joseph Unger, Kitts Hill
5. James Evans, Ironton
6. Christopher Jewell, Ironton
7. Greg McFarlin, Ironton
8. Adam Fry, Ironton
9. Tammy Black, Ironton
10. Troy Erlenwein, Ironton
11. Boston Waginger, Ironton
12. Felicia Stevens, Ironton
13. Ealynn Virgin, Ironton
14. Jake Cogan, Ironton
15. Marshall Edwards, Prestonsburg, Kentucky
16. Melissa Montgomery, Portsmouth
17. Melissa Colyer, Ironton
18. Mark Gaffney, Franklin Furnace
19. Derek Runyon, Ironton
20. Jim Cremeans, Ironton.