By Brad Fauber
It's been seven years since Virginia State Police trooper Kevin Manion was killed in the line of duty, but Manion's legacy continues to live on in the form of the Trooper Manion Memorial 5K race held annually in Winchester.
The race, which was started in 2009 by former state trooper and current Virginia State Police investigator Jay Perry and special agent Si Schiavone, begins its fifth installment this morning at 8 a.m. at Winchester Regional Airport.
Perry said he and Schiavone developed the idea for the event several years after Manion's death, and the 5K got going after the two received some backing from the Virginia State Police Association.
"They kind of helped us get it started back in the first year we tried to get it going," Perry said. "I really didn't know [Manion] all that well, but he was a fellow trooper. He was a big runner and that's where we got the idea for the 5K run."
Perry said the race typically draws at least 180 people each year, with many participants coming from the local area and Northern Virginia. The event also gets a lot support from the Shenandoah Valley Runners association, Perry said, and members of Manion's family make the trip annually to Winchester to participate in the race.
Proceeds from the event go towards providing scholarships in Manion's name to students from the high schools of James Wood, Handley, Millbrook and Sherando who are interested in a career in law enforcement.
Perry said a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to a student at each school last year, and he said the event has raised $15,000 in scholarships so far.
Perry estimated that about 180 runners would show up to this year's event.
"With the weather that we get this time of year, we're happy to get what we get," Perry said of the expected turnout. "We've had pretty good support over the years."
For more information about the Trooper Manion Memorial 5K race, visit troopermanion5k.com.
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org