Kelly Watt Memorial 2 Mile
"Running to him was real, the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as diamond. But it also made him free."
Ask anyone who was ever blessed with the opportunity to watch Kelly Watt run, and he or she will likely tell you that he embodied the essence of the quotation above, each and every time he laced up his shoes. Whether it was a long training run over the rolling hills of Hawkshill Lane, or the final laps of a championship race, Kelly ran with conviction; always eager to test his personal limits. Kelly understood at a very young age that success in any endeavor rarely occurs without hard work and sacrifice, but he thrived on the satisfaction that he derived from working to improve himself day in and day out in preparation for the big race. If anything, Kelly believed that a distance race was the perfect metaphor for life in general. When the time came to find a fitting way to pay tribute to Kelly, it was clear that a race would be involved. Out of this philosophy, the Kelly Watt Memorial Race was born.
The Kelly Watt Memorial Race, occasionally referred to as simply "The Wattey", was organized in 2005 as a way to honor the life and accomplishments of Kelly, and to continue the legacy that he left behind. The obvious choice for the location of the race was Panorama Farms, Kelly?s home away from home where he logged thousands of miles during his high school running career, and captured his first major individual running championship. The scenic and challenging 2-mile course for the Kelly Watt Memorial Race has remained unchanged since the first running in 2005, and it is identical to the course that was used for the 2004 Ragged Mountain Cup where Kelly captured his first individual title, and emerged as the preeminent high school cross country runner in Central Virginia during his senior year. The race is held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular fall races in Central Virginia.
At The Races
November 17, 2007
In only its third year this special race to celebrate the life of Kelly Watt doubled in size and it?s easy to see why. The race is well organized by one of Kelly?s former Albemarle guidance counselors Dan Monahan; well supported by Kelly?s family, friends and community; run over what many feel is the most beautiful cross country course in the state and offers all of the participants the chance to race in memory of one of the area?s most beloved runners.
Thanks to the generosity and hospitality of Steve Murray and his family at Panorama and all the fine folks at Albemarle High, close to 200 runners were treated to one of the most memorable events of the fall. One of Kelly?s old buddies and former William & Mary star Charlie Hurt out legged the rest of the field with an impressive 10:08. Kelly?s best friend George Heeschen followed Hurt into the chutes with a stellar 10:41 and current AHS start Nathan Rouse rounded out the top 3 in 10:48.
Several CTC members came out in force to support the Watt family and many of them had excellent races including Burkhard Spiekermann, Alec Lorenzoni, Larry Rouse, Jeannine Wolanski, Libby Heeschen, Chip Hopper, Mark Robbins, Claire Wolanski, Pam Stratos, Bonnie Wilfore, Sam Stafford, Audrey Lorenzoni, Theresa Coppola, Lisa Kwiatkowski, Chris Post and Laura Kwiatkowski.