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Sunday, September 27, 1998 -- Elkins
Forest Festival 10K Run and 5K Walk

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [More Pics Set 1] [More Pics Set 2] [Results]

The masses take to the streets of Elkins
An unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon greeted the runners at the Forest Festival 10K Run on Sunday, September 27th. The race got underway at 1:00pm starting from downtown Elkins. The course took the racers through town for several flat blocks before they headed out to rolling hills on country roads. The end of the route had the runners returning into town to retrace their steps back to the start/finish. Overall, it was a nice 6-mile course, but the heat of the afternoon surely took its toll on many of the racers.

Derek Finegan built a huge lead on his way to the finish
Once the race began, it was Larry Taylor and Derek Finegan who quickly moved out ahead of the crowd. After little more than a mile, Taylor could not maintain the grueling pace. Soon Finegan began to distance himself and continued to build on his lead to the finish. Taylor finished the race second in 36:23, but this was more than two minutes behind Finegan's winning time of 33:57.

Left to fight for a third place overall finish was a group of four runners, Drew Jones, Joey Herron, Murshid Latif and Jim Severino. This bunch ran together for the better part of the first four miles. With a bit of an uphill at this point, Jones and Herron surged with Latif (38:12, 5th) and Severino (38:30, 6th) unable to hang on. For the last two miles Herron paced Jones with both seeming content to let the duel be decided with a sprint finish. In what the two agreed was the hardest they'd ever sprinted for a race finish, Jones (37:29, 3rd overall) was able to out run Herron (37:30, 4th overall) to the tape.

From shades to shoelaces, Amy Riggleman (3rd F) ran with style
The race for the afternoon's speediest female saw Jessica Taylor jump out to an early lead. This lead held until the second mile where Ryann Metheny was able to pull even with her. Metheny (43:53, 1st Female) then slowly put a gap on Taylor which she was able to take to the finish. The next action saw Amy Riggleman also catch Taylor and run with her for the fourth and fifth miles. But this time Taylor had an answer and was able to pull away from Riggleman over the final mile. Taylor's finishing time of 44:19 was good enough for the second overall female while Riggleman followed nine seconds back at 44:28 for third.

After all the weary bodies made their way across the finish, it was time to get in out of the heat. The "Post-Race Party" was held in the downtown Seneca Mall were the awards were handed out along with plenty of cool beverages. Many thanks go out to all the volunteers and to the race sponsor, Acordia of West Virginia.