On the Road with Friends and Family


By BRUCE OAKLEY
White River Roadrunners 2014 President


We wrapped up 2014 at the annual Christmas awards dinner Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Landers Theater/Fellowship Bible Church. More than 60 club members attended the celebration, which was also the final monthly meeting of my term as club president. Elizabeth's provided chicken spaghetti and fixings, with desserts and drinks contributed by our membership. Thanks one and all for a grand finish to a grand year.

We introduced your 2015 leadership: Suzy Oakley, president; Rebecca Patterson, president-elect; Bruce Oakley, secretary; and Donna Johnson, treasurer. (We had elected Suzy's administration at our November meeting, with everything falling into place when Donna mentioned her bookkeeping background and willingness to step in and monitor our funds.)

Food and finances gave way to fanfare as we presented our club and Challenge Series awards. Bruce Oakley and Ashley Beller are the club's Runners of the Year. Ashley was recognized for her Challenge Series success as well as giving back as director of the Bethany Project Melon Dash, working the family farm and helping Batesville's downtown revitalization at the monthly farmer's market. Bruce was saluted for his state Grand Prix season and "not only for what he has accomplished for himself but what he has helped others accomplish." Most Improved awards went to Grady McMahan and Marie Coursey, with Grady dropping three minutes off his 5K time and Marie dropping seven minutes. Both also completed their first half marathons. Volunteer of the Year went to founding club member Sam Cooke, who continues to give back year after year, including directing the Highrock Hop Trail Runs. Sam reminded us of the fantastic support we get from the Independence County Sheriff's Reserve as well — a good group of annual "Volunteers of the Year." Our Spirit Award went to Eric Sessums, who has taken to the club in a big way, improving right along with Grady McMahan and helping out with T-shirt and logo designs, race volunteering, and general social media support of all things Roadrunner.

Our Challenge Series awards reflected our strong family emphasis along with our continued commitment to fostering fitness throughout the area.

Kendall Townsley, the eighth grader who led Cave City's new cross country teams in the fall, won the overall men's championship while Beller of Cave City claimed the women's championship to go with her Runner of the Year title.

Spouses Joel and Brandie Cannady each earned an age group award and received special Iron Roadrunner recognition for racing at every event in the series. Shawn and Rebecca Patterson and their son, Shawn Jr., all won age group awards. Mother and son also achieved Iron Roadrunner status by finishing at least 10 of the 13 events. Happy couple Anthony and Jill Coles took age group prizes along with her brother, Brad Runsick. Anthony and Brad also made Iron Roadrunner. Kandy Tosh and her daughter, Kady, took home age group hardware. Rita Cooke won an age group award for the trophy room with husband Sam's Volunteer of the Year.

Although many familiar names in local racing appear throughout the series list, new blood was well represented with first-year members Mark Rorie, Grady McMahan, Eric Sessums, Tim Appleget, Kelli Clark, Michelle Huff, Genafer Foree, and Marie Coursey collecting age group honors.

Teams made their mark alongside the many families. Appleget is Townsley's coach with the new Cavemen program. The Melbourne Bearkatz were represented with freshman cross country runner Ryan Moxley medalling in Male 10-19. Batesville Pioneers track coach Kevin Miller won Male 50-59.

Even the Iron Roadrunners who finished at least 10 of the 13 races make natural pairs: Brandie and Joel Cannady, Rebecca Patterson and son Shawn Jr., good friends Marie Coursey and Genafer Foree, series women's winner Ashley Beller and men's second place Todd Coleman, brothers-in-law Anthony Coles and Brad Runsick, buddies Grady McMahan and Eric Sessums, and steady, durable Kevin Miller and Davy Insell. The Cannadys and Patterson Jr. also earned Iron Roadrunner honors in 2013.

The full roster of 2014 Challenge Series award winners appears below. Overall winners were excluded from additional awards for their age groups, but are listed in parentheses below in order of age group finish. Places and age groups not listed had no runners meeting the five-race requirement.

Overall Male
1. Kendall Townsley, Cave City 2. Todd Coleman, Batesville 3. Shannon Box, Batesville  
Male 60+
1. Joel Cannady, Batesville 2. Dennis Anderson, Mountain View    
Male 50-59
1. Kevin Miller, Batesville 2. Mark Rorie, Batesville    
Male 40-49
(Todd Coleman, 2nd Overall) 1. Shawn Patterson Sr., Batesville (Shannon Box, 3rd Overall)  
Male 30-39
1. Grady McMahan, Batesville 2. Eric Sessums, Batesville 3. Davy Insell, Batesville  
Male 20-29
1. Anthony Coles, Batesville 2. Brad Runsick, Mountain Home 3. Tim Appleget, Cave City  
Male 10-19
(Kendall Townsley, 1st Overall) 1. Shawn Patterson Jr., Batesville 2. Ryan Moxley, Guion  
Overall Female
1. Ashley Beller, Cave City 2. Betsy Tucker, Batesville 3. Crystal Cossey, Sidney  
Female 60+
1. Linda Dale, Batesville 2. Myra Wood, Batesville    
Female 50-59
(Betsy Tucker, 2nd Overall) 1. Rita Cooke, Batesville 2. Cindy Wade, Batesville 3. Sharon Ward, Batesville
Female 40-49
(Crystal Cossey, 3rd Overall) 1. Rebecca Patterson, Batesville 2. Kelli Clark, Mount Pleasant 3. Michelle Huff, Evening Shade
Female 30-39
(Ashley Beller Kristen Treadway, 1st Overall) 1. Brandie Cannady, Batesville 2. Kandy Tosh, Batesville 3. Genafer Foree, Sidney
Female 20-29
1. Jill Coles, Batesville      
Female 10-19
1. Kady Tosh, Batesville      

Congratulations one and all for all you have achieved, and thanks for all you have given back. Well done.