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Published September 12 2011

Wagner: Local group shows running can be more than just a fun sport


Sometimes our sport is more than a sport: it strengthens relationships, provides an outlet for expression, offers opportunities to share and can be steeped in symbolism.

For a group of 12 runners on Team JB Weller, the 200-mile Hood to Coast Relay from Oregon’s Mt. Hood to Seaside last month proved to be a way to honor cancer victims.

The team, with a thoughtfully designed logo and banner, ran in honor of JB Weller of Gwinner, N.D., who died from the disease in 1998. They set up a Facebook page, solicited names for the banner and posted progress reports along the way.

“Our team is running in memory of JB Weller, but we run in honor of all who have battled cancer,” one Facebook post reads.

The core of the group – five sisters – were joined by husbands, one of JB Weller’s granddaughters, a family friend and spouse for the 30th anniversary of the world’s oldest running relay.

Team members were Karla Waloch, Ariel Waloch, Maria Weller, Kurt Kooyer, Paula Clarke, Colin Clarke, Jana Insogna, Anthony Insogna, Lindsay Weller, Andrew Winter, Dawn Berry and Scott Berry.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this as a family,” said Colin Clarke, the team’s captain. “We had an amazing experience out there. It was a first-time relay for most of our team members and something we’ll never forget.”

Overall, the Team JB Weller placed 15th overall in fundraising, with money going to the American Cancer Society. The team finished in 29 hours, 27 minutes, 25 seconds, and placed 120th out of 411 teams in the “open mixed” division.

To learn more about their team and experience, search Facebook for the JB Weller Hood to Coast 2011 page.

More amazing feet

With so many local runners doing well these days, it would be easy to fill up this space each week.

A belated shout out goes to the Scheels men’s ultra team, who won the Ragnar Great River Relay. Team members were Casey Miller, Mike Waldera, Tony Duerr, Josh Duerr, Matt Hanson and Justin Schweitzer.

The Scheels team knocked off last year’s champion, finishing first among ultra teams in 22 hours, 22 minutes, 35 seconds.

This past weekend, Fargo’s Heidi Greenwood won the Dick Beardsley women’s half marathon in Detroit Lakes, Minn. She finished in 1 hour, 22 minutes, 47 seconds.

Meg Grindall of Moorhead won the women’s 5K in a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds.

Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@forumcomm.com