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Segal, Murdock Tops Among 5K Walkers

Photo by Cody Nespor Photo by Cody Nespor Buddy Segal of Pittsburgh wins The Twin Pops 5K Walk for Health in downtown Wheeling Saturday morning.

WHEELING — The male and female winners of The Twin Pops 5K Walk for Health presented by Ziegenfelder had very different experiences in the lead-up to the starting line Saturday morning.

Buddy Segal, who won the men’s division in 35:24, trained all winter with this specific race in mind. He had second and third-place finishes in the race in years past and was determined to get a win this year.

“I generally don’t train as much in the winter, but this year I made sure I was going to be ready for Wheeling,” Segal said. “This has been my spring race I’ve been training for.

“I wanted to win. When you’re so close, I was less than a minute off, it annoyed me.”

Kelly Murdock, who was the top female finisher in 35:57, on the other hand, came out for the race almost on a whim, not even registering to run until a few hours beforehand.

“I wasn’t even thinking about doing it because there are other races (this weekend),” said Murdock, who is a part of a running club in Washington, Pennsylvania. “I tried to call a couple of people and they didn’t know if they’d reach the registration. I figured ‘heck, I’m going to come down and see if I can register.'”

Segal and Murdock ran together for much of the race Saturday and finished first and second overall. While Segal came in from Pittsburgh wanting to win, Murdock wasn’t sure what to

expect.

“I didn’t really what to expect because I didn’t really know who all was coming out,” she said. “But I did know that my time was going to be around 35 (minutes). I just paced myself with (Segal).”

There was a change this year to how the race was run that Segal thought really helped. Instead of the 5K runners and walkers starting at the same time, the 5K walkers and half marathon walkers started together.

“It was so wonderful that the walkers all started together,” Segal said. “When we started in the past, we started with the 5K runners. Then you’re intermixed, you can’t tell who’s a walker, you can’t tell who you’re racing against.”

With a 5K win finally under his belt, Segal said his next challenge might be taking part in the 13-mile half marathon, although he’s in no big hurry to tackle the hilly course.

“I’ve always done the 5K, but I did tell my friend that, if I won, then I’d consider doing the half,” Segal said with a smile. “I only said consider because I know how difficult that race is.

“You’d have to ask me that in the winter … I might just want to relish this a little bit before I come out doing a winter of hills to get ready for the half (marathon).”

Nancy McCabe-Day, Christine Encinas, Jill Ernest and Amanda Zeiders finished behind Murdock to round out the women’s top five walkers.

Segal was followed by Robin Davis, Bob Galbreath, Terry Whitecotton and Homan Hajiran.

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