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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: September 3, 2013

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Matt Baker, Superintendent, 304-420-4800, blennerhassettislandsp@wv.gov

Blennerhassett Island is Coach’s Choice for Cross Country Invitational and 5K run/walk September 6

            PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - The Ohio Valley University has announced the annual OVU Fighting Scots Invitational cross country meet and the inaugural Debby Jamison 5K run/walk is set for Friday, September 6, 2013, at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

            “The unique location of Blennerhassett Island offers ample open space and facilities,” said Blennerhassett State Park Supt. Matt Baker.  “This will be the island’s first time to host running events. We’re excited about the opportunity to bring another form of outdoor recreation to the state park system, particularly Blennerhassett Island.”

            OVU also is sponsoring a middle school and high school cross country meet on the island Tuesday, September 3, at 5 p.m. At 3 p.m., runners and coaches will be picked up at Civitan Park in Belpre Ohio; spectators will be picked up at 4 p.m.  The races are conducted in the late afternoon with the last boat leaving the island at 8:30 p.m. Boat fare for the runners and coaches is $1 and $8 for spectators. These are special island hours for the sporting event, as the island is typically not open on Tuesdays in September. Contact Rick Dobson for middle or high school registration to participate in the September 3 invitational.

There are two races on Friday, September 6: a college invitational and a 5-K open run.

            The OVU Fighting Scots Invitational is open to any college and features two competitive races Sept. 6: a women’s 5K beginning at 5 p.m. and a men’s 8K beginning at 6 p.m. Awards will be given to the top 15 male and female finishers. The entry fee per team is $100.

            The Debby Jamison 5K is open to any runner and  is projected to begin at 6:45 p.m. and consists of eight age groups: 12 and under, 13-17, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 & up. Registration for the 5K begins at 3 p.m. on the island and pre-registration packets may be picked up at that time. Excluding the sternwheeler ferry fee, the 5K is open and free of charge to the public, but donations benefiting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Research will be accepted.

            Additionally, t-shirts and concessions will be available for purchase and awards will be given to the overall top three male and female finishers, as well as the top two in each age group participating in the Debby Jamison 5K. To register for the 5K, visit www.tristateracer.com. There is no charge to run in the open 5K.

            Racers and coaches will depart from Point Park at 3 p.m. Spectators and racers depart at 4 p.m. and again at 5 p.m.  The last boat off the island is at 8:30 p.m.  Due to the dinner cruise on September 6 from 6-7:30 p.m., boats returning from the island to Civitan Park will launch only at 4:30, 5:30, and 8:30. Boat rides for runners and coaches are $5 and for spectators $8. 

About the 5K and Invitational

            The Debby Jamison 5K and OVU Fighting Scots Invitational are a dream come true and are particularly special for Parkersburg native and OVU cross country coach Rick Dobson. Dobson established the 5K in honor of his sister, Debby Jamison, who passed away from pancreatic cancer three years ago.

            Jamison’s positive attributes sparked her brother’s interest to make a difference in his community by establishing the Debby Jamison 5K. The Dobsons grew up exploring Blennerhassett Island and he said the open, country environment provides for easy visibility, creating a spectator-friendly race.

            For additional information about races on Sept. 3 or Sept. 6, contact OUV cross country coach Rick Dobson at 304-488-5963 or rickdobson33@yahoo.com.

            For information about Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, call 304-420-4800 or visit online www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.