EATON — On Saturday, July 9, the annual Ratt Race was held by the Eaton Cross Country Parent Organization.
The 5K race is a fundraiser for the Steve Pieratt Memorial Scholarship Fund, in honor of Steve Pieratt, who died in 2007. Over 100 runners of all ages participated in the race which kicked off at 8:30 a.m.
Mindy Brower, oldest child of the late-Steve Pieratt, helped operate the event.
“He was very active in the community and the cross country program at Eaton,” Brower said. “When he passed away, we decided to set up a memorial run for a scholarship to an Eaton High School senior.”
“The numbers are about the same,” Brower said of attendance. “We average about 120 every year. We have young ones of ages nine and younger, and older ones over 80 years old. My family is here — I have two children and it’s competitive between us, particularly with my husband and son.”
Ann Weadick, a regular racer, ran the race.
“I knew Steve Pieratt many years ago, I played volleyball with him,” Weadick said. “It’s competitive but fun here. There are a lot more people than what you’d normally find in a 5k race. There are more females that participated and more younger kids here, so it’s more fun to watch them. They pretty much are local faces and many people come out here from other communities to support the race.”
Randy McKinney, coach of the Eaton High School track program, was there to help.
“It’s a good thing, we see a few new faces come out, so it’s great,” McKinney said. “The Pieratt family always put out a great effort here so we owe them a great big thanks. If Steve were here, he’d just blow it off and wouldn’t make it a big deal, but he would would be happy.”
Jason Newport is an accomplished marathon runner who regularly participates in the race. He was the first to cross the finish line in 17 minutes, 52 seconds and was awarded the Top Finisher. Taylor Broermann was the top female finisher, coming in fourth overall in 19 minutes, 57 seconds. All 123 participants were able to finish the race and prizes were given out in age groups at the end of the event.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH