ROCKSPRINGS — Damp and cool conditions did not stop runners and spectators from taking part in the 17th annual Keep Your Fork 5K race last weekend in memory of Brandi Thomas.
The race, which is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year, raises money for the Brandi Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund which awards two scholarships each year to Meigs students who have been involved in cross country and/or track and field.
The race gets it’s name from the tale of the woman and the fork.
As the story goes, a young woman who was nearing death from a terminal illness had one final request of her rabbi.
The woman explained, ‘In all my years of attending church socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main courses were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork… The best is yet to come.”
Cheryl Thomas, Brandi’s mother, explained that soon after her passing, as the family was discussing plans for the possible 5K, they were given the story of the woman and the fork. From that came the name for the race held each year in memory of Brandi.
A fork is included in each of the registration packets as a reminder to the runners.
Hunter Parsons was the race winner for the second consecutive year, besting his 2017 time by 20 second to win by nearly one minute.
Jess Cook was once again the top female finisher and third among all runners, cutting more than four minutes off her 2017 time.
In the registration area, there were two quilts on display — one with previous race shirts and one from the Donate Life organization which includes Brandi’s quilt square. An informational table was also set up to provide information on organ donations. Brandi was an organ donor, which allowed her to help others even in her passing.
The Brandi Thomas Memorial Scholarship fund was established in honor of Thomas, who died in 2002 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Thomas was a member of the Meigs cross country and track and field teams.
Results were as follows:
Male — Hunter Parsons (17:46); T.J. Hoggard (18:45); Colton Heater (20:46);
Female — Jess Cook (20:11); Megan Miller (25:33); Anna Vanderlaan (25:35);
Male — Jacob Roush (30:28); Caden O’Neil (30:29); Luke Roush (34:47); Braydin Thomas (41:32);
Female — Andrea Mahr (33:01); Emma Kennedy (37:09); Taylor Barnes (37:16); Claire Howard (44:17);
Male — Christian Klein (22:41); Cyle Kennedy (29:44); Brandon Justis (30:47); William Smith (35:01);
Female — None;
Male — Dillon Mahr (22:42); Tyler Fields (23:02); Isaiah Ollis (46:00);
Female — Sydney Kennedy (54:47);
Male — Cody Ridgway (23:52), Crockett Crow (25:55), Timothy Elam (29:38); Andrew O’Bryant (30:36); Steven Mahr (33:02);
Female — Jamie Bailey (26:43); Olivia Bevan (31:11); Kelli Tucker (34:17); Julie Tillis (36:50); Shellie Bailey (39:28);
Male — Matt Herring (24:04); David S. Kennedy (26:05); Justin Roush (37:40); Jake Roush (38:32); Adam Thomas (41:31);
Female — Gabby Sanders (28:33); Renee Buckley (29:45);
Male — Philip Luckydoo (25:05); Josh Witherell (29:37); Mike O’Neil (36:22); Brian Howard (37:03); Chad Barnes (37:18);
Female — Monica Turner (27:44); Cindy Hacker (39:44); April Burnem (42:53); Melissa Jo Llewellyn (55:18);
Male — Mike Migliore (25:51); Brian Roush (26:01); John Selbee (26.32); Don Tillis (26:45); Gary Strauch (27:18);
Female — Brenda Scott (28:42); Laura Miller (28:44); Penny Elam (33:10); Gina Tillis (33:51); Amy Migliore (36:06);
Age 60 and older
Male — Rich Haft (25:46); Greg Ervin (31:08); Gale Shrimplin (43:17); Carson Crow (48:54);
Female — Francie Shrimplin (57:18); Marge Barr (60:02); Bette Hackett (60:03).