Saturday, September 16, 2006 -- Scottdale, PA
Scottdale Fall Festival 10K/5K (iPO Event Id#: 7772)
Story and photos by JR Petsko
As I pulled my car into the parking area I was surprised by the size of the event. It seemed as if everyone within a 50-mile radius had made there way to the small western Pennsylvania town. While strolling over to the race registration area to say hello to some familiar participates, my senses began working overtime with the sweet smell of food in the air, and live music in the background. My gut told me that the festivities would have to wait, since there was some exciting race action to be had first. My hunch was I right.
Crowds lined the sides of the street waiting for the kick-off, making the race feel and look like an event should. Before participants headed out of town, the cycling style prolog around the small city streets began the run, making it even more spectator friendly. I thought, "What a great idea." By the looks on the runner's faces, I could tell that they shared my thoughts.
As soon as the starter's gun fired, it was on. Runners flew by me, and you could just tell that having a crowed like this on hand had pumped them up. Ed Filcheck lead the pack during the downtown loop. As I reset my self to a new position for pictures, I awaited their return. Hardly having time to get ready before they appeared again, the group passed by me a second time. Frontrunners, Filcheck and Chris Kiefer, lead the field with 10K participant Dexter Smart hot on thier heals.
As the last walker rolled out of town, (who happened to be my fifteen year old sister who came along with me), I knew it wouldn't belong before the 5k'ers made there way back into town. A smile crossed my face when I realized that the crowd was staying put in thier seats, waiting to cheer the racers home.
The first 5K runner to come into sight was Ed Filcheck. Filcheck kept up his steady pace from the start to claim the overall 5K victory with a time of 17:40. Chris Kiefer took second overall 16 seconds back. Joe Bierhals rounded out the top three overall 5Ker's crossing the line in 19:04.
Dexter Smart cruised to a 10K overall victory in 37:27, but Heath Piper made him work close to the finish. Brad Herrington crossed in 38:13, taking third overall. So how about are buddy Jim Banks you may be asking? Doing two races in a day didn't seem to be much of a problem for Jim who crossed the line in 44:04 capturing the 10K Men's 60-69 class victory in the process.
The men where not the only ones burning up the 10K course. Tammy Slusser took home the women's overall title, crossing the line in 40:34. Morgan Ansill finished second (53:26), and Jamie Brooks rounded out the top three in 57:31.
The competitive walk winner was Kim "That better be a good picture of me." Bennett, who came across the line first for the women with a time of 32:55. On the men's side, Matt Ptacek came across the line first in 35:19. Congratulations to all who participated. Great job goes out to everyone who was involved with this event. I can't wait to come back next year for another hot sausage sandwich!
See more of JR's photos on his web site www.naturesessencephoto.com.