PITTSTON — She finished.
That’s all Catherine Testa was worried about. The 48-year-old running novice participated in her first 5K race following a successful Couch to 5K program sponsored by the Wyoming Valley Lady Striders.
A total of 129 runners, including those participating in the Couch to 5K program, participated in the first Book It Through Pittston 5K Run/Walk for Literacy sponsored by the Pittston Memorial Library.
Testa said it was a hot day, and the course in Pittston is a tough one.
“It was a really great event,” she said. “There were so many volunteers helping everyone out. I’m happy with finishing and now we’re thinking about doing the Paint Pittston Pink 5K.”\
For Testa, her goals never changed over the eight-week running program. She just wanted to finish along with her fellow Striders.
“It was really nice to meet the ladies,” Testa said. “My endurance is better than it’s ever been. I could never run a mile. Now I ran a little over three.”
Testa said she expects to run with her fellow participants in the future.
Race for reading
The event was held in honor of the late Tom and Dianne Tigue, and supported literacy programs at the Pittston Memorial Library. Champ, the mascot of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, was on hand during the event. Runners received a book and a goodie bag sponsored by O’Malley and Langon Law Firm.
The library was also open for people to check out the new community room and children’s wing.
“(Saturday) was absolutely amazing,” Librarian Patricia Joyce said. “I never saw so many people in our community room. It’s our hope to do this every year.”
The reasoning behind the event was to raise awareness for literacy, especially adult literacy, Joyce said.
“This was a great way to honor Tom and Dianne,” she said.
The top overall finisher was Michael McAndrew with a time of 19:42. Aubrey Marranca, 13, was the top female finisher with a time of 22:47. The co-founder of the Wyoming Valley Striders, Karen Moskel, finished the event in 12th place overall with a time of 24:29.
In the walking portion of the event, Mel D’Addario, 66 of Pittston, was the top overall finisher. Parker Davis, 7 of Jefferson Township, was the top male finisher.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick