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Brickson wins women’s race walk

August 16, 2015
By STEVE HEMMELGARN ( , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - Despite a blister on her heel and hills to climb, Reini Brickson, 23, from Enon, Ohio, near Dayton persevered Saturday morning to capture the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon race walk for women in a time of 2 hours,17 minutes and 25 seconds.

On the race, Brickson "started from the middle front of the pack. When a race starts, I try to like look to see where the other walkers are. With the the orange bibs, they were kind of easy to spot."

In the first two miles, she "caught two women who were in front of me, and then somewhere around the third mile, I caught up with one of the guy walkers and I had my eyes on another guy walker - who I think won the walk overall - but I had to take a pit stop. So I lost some time there.

Article Photos

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Reini Brickson of Enon, Ohio, was the women’s race walk winner.

"But the hills ... and that 13th Street hill was a big hill. I normally walk only really flat courses. I don't do hills very often, so I was pleased with how well the hills went."

Previously, she race walked a 20K in 1 hour, 57.31 about two months ago. "So this was slower, but the race was longer - and there were the hills," said Brickson.

She was aided too with good advice about the course from last year's wife-husband News and Sentinel Half Marathon race walk dual winners in Erin and Dave Talcott.

"I trained with them about two weeks earlier this summer in New York, and they actually told me about this," said Brickson.

"Erin asked me how far away Parkersburg was from Rio Grande (Ohio). When she found out it was only an hour, hour and a half, she said, "I know a race you could do.' "

Brickson, however, had way more than adequate background to compete in Saturday's race,

She went to college on an academic and track and field scholarship to Lindsey Wilson College of the then-Mid-South Conference in Columbia, Ky.

There, Brickson qualified for indoors and outdoors NAIA nationals all four years, was an All-American three years, indoors twice and outdoors once, and won the conference women's race walk three years in a row

She currently works at the University of Rio Grande and is in the process of getting her masters degree in athletic coaching leadership next May.

Brickson also holds a bachelors degree in middle grades (5 through 9) education. "So I'm hoping to find a job either in Ohio or Pennsylvania in middle grades social studies and coaching track and field and cross country," she said.

At the end of Saturday's race walk after crossing the finish line, Brickson hobbled a little bit, then took off one shoe and rubbed her heel.

"I have a lovely-sized blister on the outside of my left heel and I've gotten a blister there before, so I knew probably it was going to happen again with such a long race," she said.

Now normally, Brickson puts Vaseline on her heel. "But I got to the start line, then I remembered that's the one thing I forgot to do," she said.

"I could start feeling it about mile six; I could tell it was starting to rub. I was thinking there was maybe a tiny, little pebble in my shoe probably rubbing it. I don't know; I couldn't find the pebble. But I was going to push through it, although I hit like kind of a speed bump and it hurt. It took me a couple steps to recover from that."



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