St. Barnabas 5K provides various reasons to run
The 24th annual St. Barnabas 5K took place at 9 a.m. Saturday, and for the most part, most of the participants competed as individuals.
An exception? Kawneer, a longtime sponsor of St. Barnabas.
Tom Hadden and Jason Hillwig were the leaders of the Kawneer team that had more than 30 of its employees participate.
What started out as Hadden and about four others has turned into an annual event.
In 2002, someone asked Hadden whether his marketing department would represent Kawneer in the 5K.
“I said, ‘Sure,' ” he said. “There were only about five of us at the time that actually came as signature sponsors, and every year (we) try to acclimate more and more people.”
He said it is one of many such community events Kawneer participates in.
“The Alcoa Foundation (of which Kawneer is a subsidiary) likes to support these types of events,” Hillwig said. “We like to encourage, with our wellness programs, our employees to run in these.
“It's really part of our neighborhood volunteerism program that we have.”
Others in the nearly 750-person field, such as Aubrey Moskal, a WVU graduate and winner of the last year's race, ran for the competition.
Moskal, 25, of Morgantown, W.Va., was the first woman to cross the finish line Saturday, clocking a 16-minute, 26-second time, one second faster than last year and a women's course record.
Moskal, who has qualified to run in the Olympics marathon trials in February, used the race as a speed test.
“The 5K is not my forte,” she said. “This was just trying to keep the speed in my legs because I am used to running 80 to 90 miles a week.”
Another Olympics trials qualifier was men's winner Jed Christiansen, 28, of Grove City, who finished in 15:03. Christiansen, a Thiel graduate, was able to defend his title after winning the race last year.
While Christiansen and Moskal have their sights set on qualifying for the Olympics, Hadden and Hillwig will continue to seek out opportunities to give back to the community.
“St. Barnabas is part of Pittsburgh,” Hadden said. “Alcoa is part of Pittsburgh, and it's just two great companies coming together.”