I am writing to extend my deepest thanks and appreciation to the Wheeling Fire Department and all the workers for the Veterans Day 10K Race held Nov. 9 in Wheeling. I have been competing in distance running since 1975 and have been fortunate to compete all over the world in great races such as the Boston Marathon, and my experience in Wheeling was just as outstanding as those world-class races.
The race organization was stellar, with bus transportation provided for runners to the start, as well as from the finish back to the start. Traffic control was excellent, two water stops were ample and run with great volunteers, and the course was an accurate, certified course. The race benefits veterans, and over 200 veterans came and got free entry. The race raised several thousand dollars to help paralyzed veterans.
Special recognition goes to Fire Chief Larry Helms and fire officer Charles Ransom, who made it possible for me to compete, despite severe allergies and asthma. I have special needs, in that I have allergies to most asthma meds and must rely on a nebulizer at the finish, not an inhaler that I can carry with me. I also need oxygen as soon as I finish, or my airways will shut down. Larry made sure Charles Ransom was near me the entire race and immediately administered much-needed oxygen for 40 minutes after I finished, opening my airways and saving my life. I am just so grateful for this opportunity, as some races have told me not to bother to come. I was also able to win my age group and am just so grateful that in Wheeling, I can continue to do the sport I love. I certainly plan to be back next year and hope the paper covers the event thoroughly, as runners come from all over and it is a great event that I am sure many readers would want to read about.
Kitty A. Consolo