Cove woman overall female winner of CenTex Race Series
By LYNETTE SOWELL
By all accounts, Copperas Cove resident Jan Ward had a late start as a runner, but she has learned that winning first place does not always go to the swiftest or the youngest.
Ward, who turns 73 years old on September 17, recently learned that she was the overall female points winner for 2017 in the Cen-Tex Race Series and was recognized for that accomplishment at a banquet in late January.
“I still cannot believe it. The way the point system works, though, if you are one of one each race, you will rack up the points. That is how that happened.”
During 2017, Ward racked up 195 points as she competed in the 70-74 age group, in 15 of the series events. For the men, it was a tie with Luis Rivera, also in the 70-74 age group, and Edward Sannwaldt, in the 60-64 age group, both accumulating 208 points overall for the year.
Racers score points, with 18 points awarded for wining overall male and female in a race, followed by 13 points for 1st place in age group, 10 for 2nd place, 8 for 3rd place, 6 for 4th place, 5 for 5th place, 4 for 6th place and 3 for 7th and below. Points are logged throughout the year, with the winners being recognized at a banquet each January.
The CenTex Race Series is administrated by Killeen’s Parks & Recreation Department, with several of the series events taking place in Copperas Cove, to include the Jackrabbit Run4Hope 5K/10K, the Summer Run to Fun 5K, and the Gallop or Trot 5K, all held by the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce. New to the lineup of races in 2018 is the 5K Run to the Polar Bear Plunge, recently held in January. Other races are held in Killeen, Temple, Harker Heights, and Nolanville, with 2018 having a lineup of 17 races throughout the area.
Ward said she first started to train on September 29, 2013 and her first race was October 5, 2013 at the We Run 4 Zac 5K in Lampasas. Altogether, Ward has participated in 180 races, most of them with friends or her grandson, Turtle Powell.
Since January 1, 2018, Ward has completed four sanctioned events, to include the College Station 15K Trail Run on New Year’s Day, the Salado 5K street run on January 6, the 5K Run to the Polar Bear Plunge here in Copperas Cove on January 27, followed by the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15K on February 3, as well as the Gatesville meetup of WearBlueRun2Remember three times.
“This is a group that meets every Saturday in Faunt LeRoy Park (in Gatesville) to remember fallen soldiers of the Afghan wars,” Ward said.
So far, Ward said she has run 10 half-marathons, and completed her first half-marathon, the Cowtown Half in Fort Worth, in February 2014.