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Former Marine wins 5-K race

Though it was a muggy, hot morning for running, a 5-K run through parts of Thomson, went off without a hitch last Saturday.

Sponsored by the 2010 Class of Leadership McDuffie, The First Annual Spirit Sprint was won by 41-year-old Clint Watkins, of Madison. Watkins, who works at Rema, an industry in Morgan County and who is a former Marine, finished the race in a time of 18:09 -- right at a six-minute pace.

"I enjoyed the race, because I love to compete," said Watkins, who was immediately congratulated by his girlfriend, Wendy Dalton, also of Madison, following the race. "I gave up softball several years ago so I could run in various events."

This marked the third time that Watkins has been a participant in a local run. He also has competed in two recent Thomson Depot Dash 5-K runs. Watkins has been running on and off since 1985.

The runner-up in the event was Antoine West, of Thomson, who posted a time of 19:48. The 17-year-old is a rising junior at Thomson High School where he participates in the following sports: cross country, track and soccer.

"I didn't run as well as I could have," lamented West. "I should have turned in a better time than I did, but it being as muggy as it was, it prevented me from doing as well as I am capable of doing."

Finishing third in the Men's Division was Eric Keller, who posted a time of 20:15.

In the Women's Division, Amy Freitag was the winner. She finished in a time of 26:34. The runner-up was Julie Ann Prescott in a time of 26:55. Rounding out the top three females was Melissa Hopkins, who finished in a time of 27:26.

A total of 42 runners ran in Leadership McDuffie 5-K, according to Teleen Stephens, one of four persons serving as race coordinators. The other three included Carrie Lokey, Jason Timmerman and John Stevenson.

"We would like to thank all the sponsors for their help and to everyone who came out in the heat and ran," said Stevenson. "It was a total success. We look forward to this becoming an annual event."

Web posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010

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