Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 20, 2013

Former Greenwood H.S. athlete wins Butterflies' 5k

By MELINDA J. OVERSTREET
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW —

As with many others, Butterflies for Maddie was a family affair for the Jhambs, with three adults running the in 5k and a child who participated in the kids' fun run.

But it was Nitin Jhamb who led the pack – and not just within his family.

He hit the finish line 17 minutes and 5 seconds after the race began -- 91 seconds before anyone else.

Jhamb said the race didn't start off as well as he would have liked.

“That first mile was all over the place,” he said as he his breathing was returning to normal.

The 32-year-old member of the Bowling Green Road Runners said he used to run at Greenwood High School and then at Vanderbilt University, but he took time off from it after college and has only been in one race since the – a half marathon last month.

“I hadn't run a 5k in eight years, so I was happy with it,” Jhamb said. “It was fun. The weather turned out a lot nicer than it led up to be.”

He added that his training had been a little bittersweet.

“I had Boston on my heart the whole week leading up to this,” he said. “I felt very relieved there was some closure to that.”

He was referring to two bomb explosions near the end of the Boston Marathon finish line on the prior Monday that killed three people and injured more than 100 others. Just the previous evening, the second of a pair of brothers suspected in the bombings was arrested. The other had died the night before that in a gun fire exchange with law enforcement officers.

Nitin Jhamb's been getting back in shape, “with this guy's help,” he said of David Haynes, 37, who had won the Butterflies for Maddie race the past two years and is a board member of the B.G. Road Runners, but was in third place Saturday at 18:45.

“I never miss this race. I know Sherri. It's a very good cause,” Haynes said, referring to the race director, Sherri Vibbert.

The event is a fundraiser for the Butterflies for Maddie Foundation formed in 2006 to raise awareness and help fund education and research for pulmonary veno occlusive disease, which took the life of Madilyn Grace Morgan, who died in 2005 at age 6.

Jason Schwab was second in the race at 18:36.

Karen McGuffey was the first female to finish. Her time was 21:51.

The Traveling Trophy, which goes to the school with the most participation among faculty and staff, was awarded to Eastern Elementary School.

As Glasgow Run Club members Chris Witt, Pam Goad of Glasgow, and Judd Shaw of Summer Shade gathered near the starting line, they said that several in their club were having inaugural runs that day as part of the Couch to 5k initiative, and it was Goad's and Shaw's first time and Witt's second at the Butterflies race.

“We try to do about all the local ones,” Shaw said. “This one's kind of gotten to be special, because we know the people involved.”

He's been running since early last year, but didn't his first race wasn't until the fall.

Witt started running because he was about 40 pounds overweight and wanted a change, but that wasn't his only motivation for participating Saturday.

“It's near and dear to me because I have a son who had cancer,” he said, adding that his son is alive and better now. “This gives me a way to honor them both.”

Goad, who finished at 27:44, said the race was for great cause, with a lot of fun and friends, but she was also thinking partly of Boston.

“When I got tired, I just thought of them,” she said.

A friend of theirs, Matt Reynolds of Glasgow, was with them after the race. He came “for the cause and for the Glasgow Run Club and because of his awesome friends.”

He finished at 21:22, and his previous best time was 22:48, he said.

Those personal best times seemed to be going around, as Witt finished at 24:22, his best time, andn Shaw finished at 22:38.

“This was a personal record. It's the fastest I've ever run,” Shaw said.

Tom Wimsatt of Bowling Green let out an audible, “Yes!” as he came across the finish line and was glancing at the official clock that read 29:57.

“My last race was 30 minutes and I wanted to make sure it wasn't a fluke,” he explained a few moments later.

Before that, it had been 31:06, but he's gotten new shoes done a lot of speed training and was thrilled at the results.

Wimsatt has been running since May 2011 and had lost 106 pounds, although he said he put a bit of that back on in muscle.

“It's been one crazy journey so far. I don't know where it's going, but I like it,” he said.

He said he really enjoyed the Butterflies for Maddie race and the overall atmosphere.

“It's positive; it's upbeat. Gotta love that,” he said.