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White River Marathon for Kenya Attracts Local Runners

The four local runners shown above recently participated in the White River Marathon Half-Marathon for Kenya fundraising event held in Cotter, Ark. last Saturday. They are, from left, marathon runner Gary Emrick, Jr., and half-marathoners, Gary Emrick, Sr., Oren Alcorn, and Michael Schiff.

Gary Emerick, Sr. takes first place in the 55-59 age group category.

Several area runners participated in the annual White River Marathon Half-Marathon for Kenya fundraiser held on Saturday, Nov. 17, in Cotter, Arkansas.  

According to race information, the race course runs along the White River, and part of the enticement is that the course promises a host of scenic views for participating runners and walkers.  The race course is also touted as one of the flattest and fastest courses in the United States.  The race is USATF certified which signifies the course route has been accurately measured and verified.

Local winners placing in the marathon were: 

  • Gary Emrick, Jr., Ava, 4th place in age category 30-34, 4:30:58.41;  
  • Bill Heath, Rogersville (formerly of Ava), 4th place in age category 60-64, 4:13:39.24; 
  • Kyla Mahoney, Mountain Grove, 4th place, age category 25-29, 5:58:21.42;
  • Kandra Witkowski, Dora, 9th place, age category 40-44, 05:51:45.75. 

Local winners placing in the half-marathon were: 

  • Gary Emrick, Sr., Ava, first place, age category 55-59, 1:42:44.92; 
  • Michael Schiff, Squires, 2nd place, age category 50-54, 1:37:14.36; 
  • Frank Cottey, Mountain Grove, 4th place, age category 60-64, 2:01:59.74;
  • Oren Alcorn, Ava, 2nd place, age category 65-69,  1:58:40.46. 

Local winners placing in the 5K run/walk were:

  • Mindy Pippin, Gainesville, 2nd place, age category 35-39, 00:23:52.33;
  • Melissa Hayes, Gainesville, 3rd place, age category 35-39, 00:23:54.35.

The White River Marathon for Kenya has raised thousands of dollars for the town of Katito, Kenya, and through the years, the initiative continues to provide potable water wells, clothing and a host of other necessities to people in the community.

The White River Marathon (WRM) organizers work in conjunction with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to help communities and villages across the world.  The goal is to help impoverished areas attain a better life by focusing on root causes of poverty and injustice in their area.  The organization, which helps nearly 100 countries around the world, serves everyone, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

WRM has recently teamed up with Eco Sneakers to re-purpose worn out running shoes. The shoes, no matter what condition they are in, may be cleaned and sanitized for use in disaster areas or for the disadvantaged, or the sneakers will be used for making items such as playground surfaces.    

Since 2006, White River Marathon for Kenya has been able to donate over $162,000 to World Vision.