Oak Tree Race Connects Couple Overseas and in Geneseo

- GENESEO, N.Y. (WROC)- The 10th annual Oak Tree Race brought out 780 people to run the hilly 5k and half marathon Sunday in Geneseo, specifically Andrew and Megan Kless.

Andrew Kless was deployed to Afghanistan last year for 9-months, his wife Megan was eagerly awaiting his return. In the meantime, Megan signed up for the annual Oak Tree Race. Andrew decided he wanted to create a new goal for himself, one that would keep him connected to his wife. Kless created a course on his base in Afghanistan, rallied up soldiers and trained for the half marathon at the same time Megan was back in the US. Both Kless's ran the half marathon at the same time but on different continents and talked about their journey via skype afterward.

"I wanted something that could connect us," Kless said. "It's hard when you can't see each other but when you know you're doing the same thing at the exact same time, you know you're feeling the same amount of pain."

The Kless's ran together along with one of Andrew Kless's fellow soldiers, Greg Blais.

"He talked me into doing this last year when we were in Afghanistan," Blais said. "I told him I'd never do it again but I decided to do it one more time."

780 total people ran this year's Oak Tree Race, a record number for the annual event. This year's race winner is Kiplant Tisia.

"It feels good. It was a very nice course out there," Tisia said. "It's very much like running in Kenya. There is a very nice running community here."

The projected amount of money raised from the event is $20,000. All the money goes towards the Genesee Valley Conservancy.

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