As time ticked closer to 4 p.m., the crowd of Mill Race Marathon participants, volunteers and onlookers made their way closer to the Finish on Fourth stage for one of the day’s big moments: the truck giveaway.
As children and adults showed off their best dance moves, runners stepped up to get a closer look at the two 2016 Ram 2500 Cummins Crew Cab trucks.
Identical in every way, except color (one blue, the other black), one of the heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks worth $50,000 — provided by Bob Poynter Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Hyundai and Cummins Inc. — would be awarded to one lucky marathon or half-marathon finisher. And all the participants present hoped it would be them.
Tom Dowd of MainSource and Mill Race Marathon organizers kept the suspense alive as they narrowed the winner’s chances, announcing the winner was from the half-marathon, that she was a female between the ages of 40 and 49 from Hope and, finally, gave the name.
Lisa Witte ran straight down the middle of the crowd to the stage, laughing and exchanging high-fives with those she passed. Out of breath, she shared her excitement of winning, but not for herself.
“Unfortunately my husband isn’t here. This is for Tim Witte, the love of my life who is not here,” Witte said while laughing.
The husband in question was home mowing the grass. Witte intended to surprise him by driving home in the truck, adding she hoped none of her friends had told him yet.
Witte has participated in all four Mill Race half-marathons and was shaking with shocked excitement over winning the prize.
And her color choice for the truck? She planned to leave that up to her husband.
“I still can’t even believe it’s happened,” she said.