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15th Annual Chesty Puller Memorial Twin Bridge 10K

By Kim O'Brien Root, Editor

The Virginia Gazette and Tidewater Review

people running at a 10k

WEST POINT — Runners and walkers turned out in force for the 15th Annual Chesty Puller Memorial Bridge 10K, drawing people from across the country to one of West Point’s most anticipated events of the year.

Nearly 200 people participated the day of the June 24 race, both in person and virtually. The youngest participant was just 3, pushed along the course in a stroller by a parent. The oldest was 79.

“You did it!” the town told participants on social media at the conclusion of the race. “Not only did you conquer those bridges, but you made us proud and reminded us again why we LOVE this event so much.”

chesty puller 10k medal

The 10K is named for West Point native Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine in American history. Puller, who earned his nickname from having a barrel chest, was the recipient of five Naval Crosses and the Army Distinguished Service Cross, participating in campaigns in World War II and Korea.

Runners, walkers, stroller-pushers and dogs followed a route that began in downtown West Point and crossed the town’s twin bridges, taking participants over both the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers. Those who completed an extra kilometer took home medals as well as a “One More For Chesty” commemorative coin.

Among those participating this year was Sid Busch, a 77-year-old Navy veteran from South Carolina who has run or walked in hundreds of marathons, half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks over the past 20 years to honor fallen heroes. Always, he carries a large American flag and wears a picture of someone he is honoring.

“It’s very important to me,” Busch told Richmond television station NBC12 prior to the West Point race. “I meet the families of these young men and women, and it means a lot to them that their loss has not gone unnoticed.”

three people taking a selfie and an american flag
Participants in the 15th annual Chesty Puller Memorial Bridge 10K take a selfie with Sid Busch, a Navy veteran from South Carolina who has done hundreds of runs in honor of fallen heroes. (Courtesy of the Town of West Point)

A longtime Chesty Puller participant who at the June 24 race brought up the rear — “they need somebody to finish last” he joked to the NBC12 reporter — Busch handed out the awards at the end of the event.

Russell Reed of Onemo finished first in the men’s 10K category with a time of 37:47. He was followed by Edward Rietscha of Williamsburg, with a time of 38:07, and Will Ashley of Providence Forge, with a time of 40:40.

Audrey Shepley of Chester took first in the women’s 10K category with a time of 48:16. Nicole Pinder of Hayes took second with a time of 50:00 and Morgan Shelton of Norfolk finished third in 52:46.

woman in red shirt holding a race medal and award
Megan Arrington, 3rd Place, Women's 11K

The men’s 11K winners were first place, Alec Daniel of Gloucester (43:36); second place, Dustin McElduff of Henrico (47:24); and third, Steve Mostella III of Boyce (47:56). The women’s 11K winners were first place, Julia Henby of Providence Forge (49:35); second, Amber Rader of Moseley (55:54); and third, Megan Arrington of New Kent (58:54).

Among 10K virtual racers, Chris Gironda of Laurel, Maryland, won first place with a time of 48:06.

Marie Colitti Riggle completed her virtual Chesty Puller 10K from Ligonier, Pennsylvania, according to a post on the event’s Facebook post. Riggle told race organizers that “Next year, I am there!”

group of runners showing off medals at 10k
West Point’s 15th annual Chesty Puller Memorial Bridge 10K drew participants from Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Maryland, Texas, as well as Washington, D.C. (Courtesy of the Town of West Point)

Organizers are already planning next year’s Chesty Puller 10K, scheduled for June 22, 2024. To register, visit

To see results and download photos from the event, visit the Town of West Point's photo album and EnMotive's website: 2023 Chesty Puller Memorial Twin Bridge 10K (


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