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Sunday, October 18, 1998 -- Charleston
Toys for Tots Half-Marathon & 5K

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [Half-Marathon Results] [5K Results]
[Half Pictures Set 1] [Half Pictures Set 2] [5K Pictures]

The sun rises on a beautiful morning for a run in the Kanawha State Forest
Sunday, October 18th, was just a fantastic day to be outside in West Virginia. Many runners took advantage of the beautiful weather by heading to the Kanawha State Forest to run in the Toys for Tots Half-Marathon & 5K. It was actually quite chilly as the racers gathered for a 9:00 a.m. race start. However, the sun was working its way over the mountains and through the trees to warm up the morning air.

Kelly McGraw rounds the final turn on her way to a 5K PR
This was the first year that the annual race added the half-marathon distance to the traditional 5K course. Both races began at the same time with the 5K runners taking on a flat, out-and-back course on paved roads, while the 13 mile distance consisted mainly of gravel and dirt forest roads with a fair amount of climbing involved.

Once the 5K race began, it quickly became a two man race between Brent Jarrell and Jared Smith. After running together at the front for most of the first mile, Smith kicked up the pace to slowly build a gap on the now chasing Jarrell. Around the halfway point in the race, with Smith still in sight, Jarrell began to make small surges in an effort to close on the lead. With no more than a quarter-mile left in the race Jarrell was able to catch Smith, however, he didn't want the race to come down to a sprint finish against Smith's younger legs. Jarrell continued to surge and built a small lead which he took to the finish to win with a time of 16:33, just seconds ahead of Jarrell who crossed the line at 16:38.

The youngest competitor, 7-year-old Allie Franklin, sprints to the 5K finish
Another close battle took place for third overall as James Quarless (17:44) edged out Seth Crislip (17:46) by two seconds at the finish. Although they finished over a minute back of the race leaders, they were the only other runners to finish in under 18 minutes for the 3.1 mile distance.

The female competition was dominated by Kelly McGraw who finished ninth overall with a PR time of 19:17. Taking second and third were Martha Drinkard (21:03) and Sara Greene (22:00), respectively.

Duane Dombek took the least time taking in 13 miles of Kanawha State Forest
As the awards for the 5K race were being handed out, the half-marathon runners were still out in the forest hammering the dry dirt roads. Their course was basically a flat start that lead to the initial long climb. After that it was a rolling route across the scenic ridge top until they came to the long descent back off the mountain and on to a flat paved road for the last mile or two.

Coming off the mountain first, and taking his lead to the finish, was Duane Dombek who finished in a time of 1:21:39. Being that this is the first year for the half-marathon, Dombek now holds title to the course record.

The fastest female at the half-marathon distance was Christinia Rawson in an impressive time of 1:25:38, good enough for a fourth overall finish.

Annette Castelle is surrounded with fall colors in the half-marathon
With the addition of the half-marathon distance, and the weather being so pleasant, the fall colors so spectacular, and the event so well run, the Toys for Tots run is sure to continue to grow.

Thanks must be extended to all who participated to support the Toys for Tots program. In addition, special thanks go to all the volunteers that helped out, including race director GYSGT Rick Dobson and the Marine Corp Alpha Co. 4th Combat Engineering Battalion from Charleston, the South Charleston and St. Albans Jr. NROTC, half-marathon director Leif Irgens, and race timer Pat Board, III, from the Kanawha Valley Runners Club.

Notes from Brent Jarrell
On Saturday, October 17th, Chris Parsons, cross-country coach at Cabell-Midland High School, finished first in the McDonald's 5K held in Proctorville, OH. Also, the absence of Sue McGee from the weekend race scene was due to her being the bride in a wedding to Stephen Redmond. Congratulations!