1,100 runners take part in 43rd Peace Race; Kenyans dominate
To hardly anyone’s surprise, Kenyans dominated Sunday’s 43rd Youngstown Peace Race.
It was the way Canfield native and South Range High School alumni Ryan Roush pushed winner Ezekiel Kosger, however, that had many in the crowd talking when he crossed the finish line.
Kosger, one of several who hail from Eldorert in western Kenya, was running in his first Peace Race and, along with Roush and fellow countryman Kiptoo Julius Kibet, set the pace for most of the 6.2-mile course. The race began on the corner of Kirk Road and Nadyne Drive by Kirkmere Elementary School on the city’s West Side, wound through Mill Creek MetroParks, came out on Mahoning Avenue before crossing Spring Commons Bridge and ending on Central Square.
“He [Roush] really pushed me today, but that is what I like,” Kosger said after the race. “Along with Julius, all three of us got out in front and started to create some distance from the field. I was a little tired when I got to the bridge and before the final straightaway, but I just kept going and kicked as hard as I could.”
A total of 1,100 runners were entered in Sunday’s event, with approximately 700 competing in the 10K and more than 400 registered for the 2-mile run – dubbed “Move the Mission” to raise awareness for moving the local Rescue Mission from Martin Luther King Boulevard to a location off South Avenue and just above the downtown area.
Proceeds from the early event were earmarked for the Rescue Mission, with four other organizations also reaping a generous donation as well.
According to Al George, Peace Race board president, more than $100,000 has been donated to charity and $100,000 in prize money also given away over the past 15 years.