Watts, Black win 5K at 46th annual Run By The River

Published 10:26 pm Saturday, June 10, 2023

Runners bolt out of the starting line during Saturday’s 4th annual Run By The River 5K and 10K races. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)


Missy Moore cheers on 2-year-old Olivia Hawes during the 46th Run By The River race on Saturday. Moore won the women’s 10K race. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)


For The Ironton Tribune

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RUSSELL, Ky. – Two-year-old Olivia Hawes and her family from Blacksburg, Va. are on a mission.

Before the end of the year she and her family plan to complete 5K runs in all 50 states.

Her appearance in Saturday’s 46th annual Kiwanis Run by the River in Russell, Ky. was state No. 7 for the toddler, who has learned to play to the crowd and lights up when presented her running medals.

Noah Copley won the men’s 10K race during the 46th Run By The River on Saturday. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of East Greenup County, Ky. the 5K and 10K competitive races saw several repeat winners on Saturday.

Noah Copley, 53, of Fort Gay, W.Va. and Missy Moore, 55, of Ashland were the winners of the 10K races, while Randall Watts, 58, of Garner, Ky. and Tammy Black, 53, of Coal Grove, Ohio, took home the winning 5K trophies.

Olivia’s mother, Angel, said she ran a 50 meter race at an event at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. at 22 months last July and since it’s been off to the races. She runs with her dad, Jason, a Navy veteran

“She doesn’t like him to hold her hand so he keeps it loosely available for her should she stumble,” Angel related.

To complete the goal of a race in each state the family is approaching it like a precision military operation. They look for races close to home that are also close to other states so they might pick up two races in as many days.

Olivia has warmed up to the crowd and beams when the other runners cheer her along the course. And the medals are especially important for her.

On Saturday, she posted a time of 13:33 in the 5K, giving her the 28th spot overall.

Tammy Black of Coal Grove won the women’s 5K race of the 46th annual Run By The River on Saturday. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)

To win the 5K race Copley, who is the head cross country coach at Tolsia High School, posted a time of 39:41, which was nearly 15 minutes ahead of the second place runner, Ben Nunley, 57, of Ashland, who clocked in at 54:38.

Moore ran a 42:03 on the 6.2 mile course through Russell and Worthington to make it two in a row. She finished first in the 2022 race with a time of 41:25. She, too, was way ahead of the runner up, Sara Manning, 25, of Flatwoods, Ky. who had a time of 58:55.

Watts has been in the winner’s circle four times in as many years. His first place finish this year came with a time of 21:49, just a few seconds ahead of runner up Walker Karrick, 14, of Olympia, Ky. whose time was 22:10.

Watts won the 2021 virtual Run by the River and was the runner up in the 2020 virtual race and 2022’s live race.

This year also marked the second 5K win for Black. She posted a time of 25:49 on Saturday, almost a full minute ahead of runner up Brenda Scott, 58, of Point Pleasant, W.Va. whose time was 26:53.

Black previously won the 5K women’s race in 2016 with a time of 26:28.

Randall Watts won the men’s 5K race at the 4th Run By The River on Saturday. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)

This year’s runs featured participants from the Tri-State Area of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia plus Virginia and Tennessee. In all, there were 49 runners-walkers, with 32 in the 5K run, 14 in the 10K run and 3 walkers.

Little Olivia was the youngest participant in Saturday’s race. James Barker of Kitts Hill took honors on the other end of the age scale and at 82 years young completed the 5K race in 34:52.46 placing him in 22nd spot.

Funds raised pay for annual contributions to the three county school system’s family resource centers, food baskets at Thanksgiving for about 50 families, sponsorship of the library’s summer reading program, shop with a cop, Key Clubs at Russell and Raceland high schools and other youth projects.




1. Randall Watts, Garner, Ky. 21:48.30; 2. Walker Karrick, Olympia, Ky. 22:09.53; 3. Alvin Bramblette, Portsmouth, Ohio 22:17.70; 4. Tim Bailey, Owingsville, Ky. 22:37.58; 5. James Jenkins, Russell, Ky. 24:05.15; 6. Chris Allwood, Wheelersburg, Ohio 24:31.52; 7. Ed Edwards, Ashland, Ky. 24:40.56; 8. Ron Simpson, Russell, Ky. 24:45.95; 9. Aaron Allwood, Wheelersburg, Ohio 24:48.92; 10. Aaron Pridemore, Flatwoods, Ky. 25:21.80.

11. Tammy Black, Coal Grove, Ohio 25:48.91; 12. Brenda Scott, Point Pleasant, W.Va. 26:52.11; 13. Jim Cremeans, Ironton, Ohio 27:25.59; 14. Katie Hodge, Kingsport, Tenn. 29:10.21; 15. Grace Hodge, Kingsport, Tenn. 29:13.19; 16. Sarah Duzan, Wheelersburg, Ohio 30:07.02; 17. Shari Shriver, Mount Clare, W.Va. 3125.36; 18. Jack Schrader, Ashland, Ky. 31:32.99; 19. Ronald Spence, Flatwoods, Ky. 34:14.88; 20. Aaron Hodge, Kingsport, Tenn. 34:19.17.

21. Leah Wheeler, Ashland, Ky. 34:33.74; 22. James Barker, Kitts Hill, Ohio 34:52.46; 23. Colleen Walker, Huntington, W.Va. 34:56.48; 24. Katherine Rucker, Huntington, W.Va. 34:56.86; 25. Greg Ervin, Jackson, Ohio 36:18.73; 26. Josh Ward, South Shore, Ky. 36:38.77; 27. Tim Gampp, Ashland, Ky. 37:27.44; 28. Olivia Hawes, Blacksburg, Va. 42:03.94; 29. Robert Johnson, Maysville, Ky. 44:00.81; 30. Amy Crossan, Huntington, W.Va. 45:08.48.

31. Tom Jordan, Huntington, W.Va. 4704.33; 32. Tiffany Seibert, Ashland, Ky. 56:43.27.


1. Noah Copley, Fort Gay, W.Va. 39:40.38; 2. Missy Moore, Ashland, Ky. 42:02.61; 3. Ben Nunley, Ashland, Ky. 54:37.17; 4. Neil Johnson, Catlettsburg, Ky. 54:37.34; 5. Sara Manning, Flatwoods, Ky. 58:54.86; 6. Julie Crum, Ashland, Ky. 1:00:08.00; 7. Melissa Alba, Blacksburg, Va. 1:04:00.06.

8. Russ Rucker, Ironton, Ohio 1:04:27.47; 9. Amanda Knight, Wheelersburg, Ohio 1:05:06.79; 10. Sherry McKown, Huntington, W.Va. 1:09:09.98; 11. Cecilia Gaynor, Ashland, Ky. 1:10:04. 06; 12. Riley Finfrock, Greenup, Ky. 1:13:02.71; 13. Kellie Nunley, Ashland, Ky. 1:18:27.24; 14. Nate Rice, Ashland, Ky. 1:24:02.14.


1. Pat Gaynor, Ashland, Ky. 59:16; 2. Megan Russell, Quincy, Ky. 55:43; 3. Mark Russell, Quincy, Ky. 55:43.