The Mile Run has a rich history in the city of Gallipolis that dates back to 1948 when the famous U.S. miler Gill Dodd dedicated the Memorial field track to the city. It was then that the Rotary Club decided to establish a one mile annual race to recognize the best high school mile runner from Gallia Academy, and name it in honor of Dodd.
Originally limited to boys, the race was held in part with the “Rotary Boys and Girls Weekday in Athletics,” with the winner of the Dodd mile run receiving a small trophy and an invitation to the Rotary Club’s meal following the race.
Starting in 1967, the race was opened up to runners from all of the county schools, and in 1980 girls were eligible to participate in the Rotary Mile Run.
1985 marked the start of allowing all-ages of runners (up to high school seniors) to join in the run that was then slated to occur right down Second Avenue so the community could view the young athletes compete.
Today the event averages over 40 runners annually, and is a much anticipated portion of the River Recreation Festival that promotes the county’s youth, fitness, and distance running.
Taking first in this year’s race was Matt Watts, a 14-and-over runner, who clocked in at 5:19.8. Following Watts was Nick Clagg, also in the 14-and-over division, who took second with a time of 5:22.8. Jeremy Ward (14-and-over) finished third in the race with a time of 5:56.4. Timmy Warner followed in suit, taking the fourth place spot with a time of 5:56.9.
In the boys 10-and-under division, Caleb Greenlee and Curtis Haner received top marks for their first and second place finishes, hitting times of 6:54.3 and 7:13.2, respectively.
For the boys 11-13 division, Wade Martin and Aaron Oehler were the first and second place finishers, clocking in at 5:59.4 and 6:30.0, respectively.
In the girls 14-and-over division, McKenna Warner took top honors with a time of 6:00.5, 6 seconds ahead of runner-up Halli Bair who’s 6:06.3 finish earned her the second overall title for girls. Bair also took first in her girls 11-13 division.
In the girls 10-and-under division, Gabrielle Atkins and Jalea Caldwell each received honors for the mile performances, Atkins taking first with a time of 7:45.9, and Caldwell finishing in second place with a time of 7:53.2.
Other participants that helped make this year’s race a success were Wyatt Sipple, Trevor McNeal, Anthony Sipple, Wes Brawley, Jared Stevens, Kyle Greenlee, Nick Mayes, and Jenelle Stevens.