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Saturday, May 29, 1999 -- Bluefield
Bluefield Regional Medical Center Road Races
Story by Don Parks with photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
Results: [5K Overall] [5K By Class] [10K Overall] [10K By Class]

Harrison Lutz
Harrison Lutz floats over the crest of the final hill
What goes down must go back up. At least this holds true for the Bluefield Regional Medical Center Road Races. A simply designed course basically took the 5K and 10K runners South, heading out of town on Bland Street. This provided a moderate grade for a short distance before racing downhill for a good half-mile. After taking a right on College Avenue the runners quickly found the road leveling out to a straight and flat stretch. The 5K course ran out just a half-mile before a turn around with the 10K continuing another two miles before a quick climb led to the turnaround. The race back began with a return on flat College Avenue. But the inevitable hill on Bland Street, that provided such a fast and friendly start, was looming for the racers on the final mile. At 8:00am, the hills were waiting and the 5K and 10K courses were marked in detail.

Monica Walker
Monica Walker smiles during the climb
With both races starting together, it was the 5K kick of West Virginia University Track runner, Eric Bolton, quickly moving out in front. Bolton never looked back as he raced through the 5K course uncontested in 16:42. Paul Smith (20:04) ran the race in second from start to finish with 13 year-old Dustin Gore running in third. Gore (20:54) was able to hold off the late charge of Bob Hale (20:57) to take third overall with just seconds to spare.

The top female in the 5K was 16 year-old Rebecca Steorts (21:26) who finished a strong eighth overall. Even younger legs in 13 year-old Megan Howell (24:02) found the finish line for second, 17th overall. Not far behind, Priscilla Cooper (24:58) captured third finishing 19th overall.

Trent Crewe knows it's all downhill from here
At the 10K distance, Tim Howard got off to a fast start as he looked to pace himself with the best in the 5K. Jimmy Jacobs stayed on his heels at the start but soon watched Howard pull away. Howard took the overall win in a time of 37:42. Jacobs' fast start slowed enough to allow Finn Pincus to come around him just before the halfway point. Pincus (38:55) took second place honors with Jacobs (39:45) taking third as Earl Keene (40:01) chased him up the final hill. The top runner among the women's field was Charity McDaniel (45:30) completing a 13th overall finish. Monica Walker (47:23) took second with Michele Gregory getting third in among the females.

When it came to the final climb Paul and Stacey Mulrenin, who were visiting from their hometown of Brandon, Florida, commented that they don't often see hills like these. However, when they overheard a West Virginia local talking about the warm morning weather, they let us know that this was far from hot weather. WVOutside is thankful we don't have to deal with Florida's heat... and we love the hills!