On Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m., there will be a 5K race in remembrance of Lance Cpl. Brett Wightman, who was killed while serving his country in Iraq on Aug. 3, 2005 at the age of 22.
Wightman, an East Clinton High School graduate, was a member of the Lima Company out of Columbus. The Brett Wightman 5K/Walk & Fun Run was started as a day of remembrance. Proceeds from the race will go toward scholarships for East Clinton graduates pursuing higher education.
He aspired to be a Marine since his childhood and made his dream come true right after graduating from East Clinton.
Wightman’s father, Keith Wightman of Washington C.H., said his goal is to create a legacy for his son. He said he was visiting his son’s grave when he promised, “I’m not going to let this world forget you.”
He said he hopes the race and other fundraisers held by the Brett Wightman Foundation will “raise money and keep awareness of what happened with Brett…of the sacrifice he made.”
Many individuals, local businesses and veteran groups have come together to show their support for this race. The breakfast will be provided by Traditions and The Masons of Sabina, and will be served in the Sabina Elementary School. The race will begin with a rifle volley performed by American Legion Post 49 from Wilmington.
About 50 Marine recruits will participate in the race and run in cadence. Local veteran Bob Estel, 94, who served in the Pacific Theatre in World War II and was on Mount Suribachi when the flag was raised, plans to participate in the race and meet the Marine recruits. He will be pushed during the race by local veteran Shawn Carter.
Wightman also said the race’s subcommittee has been “working real hard to do as much as they can and I’ve been real impressed with what they’ve done.”
This subcommittee includes local runners: Judy Corgan, Barb Saville, Katie Croucher, Jessica Grimes and Stephanie Haines.
The time for pre-registration has passed, but runners may register the day of the race beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Sabina Elementary School, located at 246 W. Washington St. The cost is $35. There is a $5 discount for veterans, and the price for students is $20. Non-runners may purchase the breakfast for $8.
Runners will have the opportunity to receive swag bags and door prizes, there will also be music and awards will be given to the winners of each of the following age groups: 10 and under, 11 to 14, 15 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 and over. There will also be a prize for top overall male and female runner.
The current record holders are James Cochenour from the 2011 race with a time of 18:01, and Makki Kreager from the 2012 race with a time of 20:56. There will also be a contest for the most patriotic outfit.
Of his son’s service, Wightman said he “did some really good work over there, saved some lives from what I understand, something you’re proud of.”
Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2