Ripley's Nathan McKee crossed the finish line in 18:14.6 Saturday, winning the 40th Charleston Distance Run's 5-kilometer race at University of Charleston Stadium.
While McKee's performance was impressive, the second-place finisher sure stole a lot of his thunder.
Nine-year-old Noah Castro of Hurricane emerged onto the track at UC Stadium behind McKee and held off third-place Marcus Taylor, picking up a runner-up finish and adding another feather in the cap of his brief yet decorated running career.
Castro, who runs for the Capital City Striders, became AAU indoor national champion in the 1,500 and 800-meter races this year, and he sure made a loud impression on a cloudy morning in Charleston.
"That kid's tough," McKee said. "I mean, that's impressive. I hope he keeps it up."
Castro might've won the race had McKee not decided to run a marathon in a couple of weeks in Erie, Pa. McKee had run the 15-mile race the previous two years, but decided to run the 5K to lessen his work load.
McKee has run the 5K a handful of times, but Saturday was his first win. Despite the accomplishment, the 36-year-old didn't put much weight on the victory.
"The times are pretty slow today," McKee said. "I mean, it's better than coming in second, but it's not a big deal."
Christina Rawson of Sissonville returned after taking a few years off and captured the women's title by almost two full minutes with a time of 20:47.9.
The California-native said it just felt good to compete again.
"I used to run a lot but haven't ran this since 2003," Rawson said. "I had the record in this race for a long time years ago. [Coming back] is scary, I'm getting old. It feels good to win but it just feels good to be back again."
Both McKee and Rawson ran in college. Castro won't even be in college for another nine or 10 years.