Grand Slam Central


March 31, 2007

Only one can win, but many can finish


Jamie King-O’Shea won the Louisville Triple Crown of Running championship on Saturday, but she was only the most prominent of many – actually thousands – of people who ran in all three races in the 24th annual series.

Ben Weigel, a 24-year-old Louisville resident, accomplished that feat for the first time. He ran in the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic on March 3, the Rodes City Run on March 17, and the Papa John’s 10 Miler on Saturday.

“At a certain point in life, you start losing things to compete in,” he said. “But running never gets old, and it’s an avenue to lifelong fitness – which is as important as anything you can do for yourself.”

Louisville resident Mary Ann Halloway completed the Triple Crown for the second straight year. She trains with a group from Southeast Christian Church.

“I didn’t think I would do it again this year,” she said. “But when the time came, I just had to do it. It’s one of those things. You have to be a part of it. And I just turned 40 this year. I wanted to see if I could still do it.”

Sean Saunders and Abbe Nolan each completed the Triple Crown for the third straight year. Saunders, a 35-year-old Louisville resident, runs year-round with a group from The Training Studio, which is located in St. Matthews.

“When you finish these races, you know you have a good start to the year,” he said. “There’s a huge sense of accomplishment.”

Nolan, a 28-year-old Louisville resident, started running with one of her co-workers at Wilkerson Elementary School three years ago.

“I didn’t run much before that,” she said. “I always said I was going to do one, and I finally started training for it. It’s addicting, very addicting. I think I’d feel guilty now if I didn’t run.”

Brian Hicks and his wife, Courtney, are mentors for Run Louisville Run, a first-year program affiliated with the YMCA of Greater Louisville. They train middle school and high school students for the Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby Festival mini/Marathon.

“We have a mix of kids from the inner city,” he said. “We’re trying to get kids to run, to learn the discipline of running, and carry that over into skills that will help them succeed in life.”

“If they can do this, they can do anything,” she said.