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Sunday, April 18, 1999 -- Martinsburg
Danny Walsh 5K
Story by Don Parks with photos by Greg McCulley and Emory Rogers.

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

The sun works hard to shine on the start of the Danny Walsh 5K
Sunday, April 18th, brought some brutal weather around much of West Virginia with cloudy skies and a cold rain falling in many places. WVOutside traveled across the mountains to the Eastern Panhandle and the town of Martinsburg for the S.M.A.R.T. Clinic/Danny Walsh 5K Run-Walk. It seems that some of the clouds didn't make the trip over the mountains as everyone enjoyed partly sunny skies for the out-and-back race that started and finished at City Hospital. Although the temperatures were still quite chilly with some blustery winds, the hilly course quickly warmed up the crowd of racers.

Don Parks prepares for the return trip to the start/finish
Getting out to a quick start were the trio of Shane Everhart, Stentson Snowden, and Richard Keplinger. However, when the first big hill faced the runners, a patient Mark Vann began to close on the leaders. By the the time they reached the turn around point halfway through the race, Vann had positioned himself in the front as Karsten Brown also began to work his way through the early leaders.

The pace was too much for Everhart as he dropped back to eventually finish 5th, at 19:20, but Keplinger wasn't going to let Vann get away quite so easy. His late surges, while a valiant effort, couldn't be sustained as he fell back and was passed near the finish by Brown. Keplinger (18:18) was still able to hold off Snowden (18:26, 4th overall) to capture third place overall. Brown continued with a strong finish but still fell short of Vann's winning time of 17:49 by less than 10 seconds with a time of 17:57.

Krista Farris kicks her way to a sunny 1st place finish
The top women's runners also started out in a bunch with a group of leaders at the front early. Much of the pace for the first mile was set by Nancy Specht until Krista Farris decided to test the competition. Farris had managed a comfortable gap on her pursuers by the turn around and continued to cruise for a first place finish in 22:44. Specht continued to run strong and held of Barb Shevokas (23:26, 3rd overall) by just a few seconds to take second place overall in 23:22.

Many more competitors finished the tough 3-plus mile course and can consider themselves winners, as well. Not only did they prove they had the mettle to conquer the cool, breezy conditions, they helped a wonderful cause in City Hospital's S.M.A.R.T. Clinic and the memory of Danny Walsh.