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Thursday, June 10, 2004 -- Connellsville, PA
Francis Bud Murphy Memorial 5K (iPO Event Id#: 6300)
Story and photos by Don Parks
Results provided by SERJ Racing Services

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13]
Past Event Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002 Results] [2003]

Race Pic
Always something to look forward to, at Bud Murphy's
So it rained a little, it sure didn't slow down the good times at the 19th Annual Bud Murphy 5K. A huge crowd of over 300 took to the streets above Connellsville (and those streets were closed to vehicles during the race) for exercise and fun.

Lining up at the start were some familiar faces. The defending champion, Kenny King, was there with Adam Shinsky. Shinsky had won the race in 2002, but found himself finishing second to King last year. Then there was Patrick Reagan, who was looking to improve on his third place finishes in both of the last two years.

The race starts right out with a long hill up Murphy Avenue, and by the time they reached the half-mile mark on Breakneck Road a group of three had taken the lead. Sure enough this group was made up of King, Shinsky and Reagan.

Patrick Reagan
Reagan looks to improve on back-to-back 3rd place finishes
The racing stayed close, but eventually King wasn't able to hold his 2003 winning form. He had to settle for third at 17:26, almost 20 seconds off his previous year's time.

As Shinsky rounded the last corner to head back down Murphy Avenue and on to the finish line, he took a glance behind to check for Reagan. The coast was clear. Shinsky took the win to regain bragging rights in 16:50, besting his 2003 time of 17:16. Reagan wasn't too far behind finishing second at 16:59, taking almost 30 seconds off his previous finishing time.

On the women's side the racing wasn't so close. Defending champ Heather Bury was back again, and this year her coach gave her the "go". Bury was told by her coach in 2003 to just "run" and not "race" the 5K course. This year she wouldn't be holding back.

Natalie Bower
Bower powers her way to second place
A professional runner for Saucony and PowerBar, Bury paced herself up the first hill. By the time the race leaders reached Breakneck Road she was cruising along, maybe holding a spot in the top ten. But there were still well over two miles of racing to go.

By the time Bury reached the finishing stretch down Murphy Avenue, she had moved to fourth position and was on the heels of third place overall. She didn't catch anyone before the finish, but still finished in an impressive 17:32, almost a minute better than her 2003 time.

Taking second place honors for the ladies was Natalie Bower, a youthful looking 13-year old. Bower finished in 20:52 and looks to be on her way to an impressive running career.

Some walkers did a little less racing than others
The race for third was a close one with Jerilyn Show (22:23) edging out Karli Kapolka (22:29) for the final podium spot.

In the 5K race walk, it was a deja vu from the 5K run. Thomas Starkey (28:12) regained the title that he held in 2002, but lost last year.

Bruce Kukan (29:51), who had won in 2003, had to fight to the finish for second. He went toe-to-toe with Craig Baer (29:52) all the way to the line.

Race Pic
A little rain and a lot of smiles
For the women walkers it was Jamie Brooks (30:41) taking the win, and just as Bury did in the run, finished fourth overall. Brooks is making winning at Bud Murphy's a habit, having won no less than the past five years!

Rounding out the top women walkers was Michelle Borland (31:22), second place, and Kathy Paes (33:39), third place.

Despite a steady rain, the fun continued as the post-race festivities included plenty of hotdogs, pizza, and awards. Oh, and did we mention heading over to the post-post-race celebration at Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant? It's no wonder that this race continues to attract a huge crowd!