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Sunday, September 13, 1998 -- Nutter Fort
Campaign Kick-Off 5K Run/Walk & Youth Fun Run

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [Results]  Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3]

The feet start flying in the heat of Nutter Fort

The word for Sunday's race at Norwood Park, in Nutter Fort, was "hot". The afternoon race began at 2:00 p.m. with the temperature around 90 degrees and plenty of sunshine. But the conditions didn't seem to bother too many racers as a nice crowd of runners and walkers turned out for the Campaign Kick-Off 5K. The route, for the first mile, took the racers out of the park and then for an out and back stretch of neighboring residential streets. The racers then ran about a half mile circuit around the park and back to the starting area. This whole configuration was run twice to get the full 3.1 miles.

The weather didn't seem to have adverse affects on 14-year-old Kenny Beerbower. He quickly positioned himself in the front and was never challenged, finishing first with a time of 17:33. The race for the runner-up was not nearly as simple.

Kenny Beerbower led the race from start to finish

After about a mile of racing, Johnathan Wright had positioned himself in second place with a several second lead over Joey Herron. Following these two was a group of five runners consisting of Joe Dean, Murshid Latif, Greg Edgell, Gary Norris and Joe Leroy. However, this chase group was about to break up as the pacing Latif was ready to surge.

Latif quickly moved to the front of the group and pulled away with Joe Dean doing his best to match his pace. As the two worked to close on the leaders, the heat seemed to be getting to Wright, who had been running in second. After another mile of racing, Latif had managed to move past both Herron and Wright to take up the second position. Likewise, Herron and Dean passed up Wright who had now faded to fifth. At the finish, it was Latif crossing the line in second, at 17:49, having put a comfortable 13 second lead on the rest of the field. Coming across the line third, in 18:02, was Herron who managed to fend off the chasing Dean who finished fourth, two seconds back, at 18:04. Jonathan Wright was able to hold on to fifth (18:33) over Greg Edgell who finished sixth (18:37).

Heather McDaniel was the afternoon's fastest female, and challenged quite a few men along the way
In the women's competition, it was another 14-year-old setting the pace. Heather McDaniel ran away from the competition to place first in a time of 20:39. McDaniel's time was almost two minutes ahead of the next female and was good enough for 13th overall. When asked what was her secret to being able to race so impressively, she simply said, "Just run hard all summer."

Another good battle was fought for second place honors in the women's field. After running a 6:38 first mile, Stephanie Hatfield had managed a five second lead over the chasing Liann Gottschling. Over the course of the second mile, Gottschling was able to close the gap and catch Hatfield. At about this same point, Bianca Scaggs, who had been running in fifth was starting an impressive surge. During the final mile, Scaggs moved up through the ranks to take second place at the finish in 22:32. Taking third was Gottschling (22:48) after having been able to slightly pull away from Hatfield (22:53) in fourth.

The afternoon's events were a joy for just about all that participated, from those as young as three who ran in the Youth Fun Run, to the slightly more mature folks like 85-year-old Louis Cinci who competed in the 5K Run. Thanks go out for the efforts of all the volunteers, especially Fred Wilson, Carl Hatfield, David Ferrari, Bill Kirk and Vic Fisher. Still more thanks go to all the sponsors that helped make it all possible: AFG Industries, Rosebud Foodland, Nutter Fort Foodland, Pepsi Cola, Runner's World, WV Dept. of Highways, the Nutter Fort Police Dept., and the Harrison County EMS.

Louis Cinci, a young 85, enjoyed a day in the sun
Nicole Saas, at 5-years-old, had a big day racing