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Monday, July 5, 1999 -- Ripley
Firecracker 5K
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Firecracker 5K
Mikey Guinn leads Tony Basta and Larry Taylor to the finish
It's not often that you get a chance to race a 5K run, or anything at all, in front of 40,000 people. Well, in Ripley, folks know how to celebrate the 4th of July as everyone from miles around pours onto the sidewalks of mainstreet for a huge parade. Just before this parade, the Firecracker 5K kicked of on Monday, July 5th, amidst the heat and humidity brought on by the midday sun.

The 11:30am start was directly in front of the Jackson County Court House. Racers then went south on Court Street until turning left and looping through some residential areas before getting on Rt. 21 and coming back into town. Once into town, it was time for a finish line jaunt down Main Street in front of the massive crowd.

Firecracker 5K
Mison Spiker displays some winning form
The first runner to come down Main Street was Mikey Guinn(16:56), who will be a freshman on the Alderson-Broadus Cross Country team this fall. Guinn jumped out to an early lead, then briefly lost it before taking it back for good in the last mile, securing his overall victory..

Pushing Guinn to the finish was Tony Basta(17:04) and Larry Taylor(17:11). Basta and Taylor battled Guinn the whole race along with William Ricker(17:23), but the fleet Guinn wouldn't be caught. Basta and Taylor finished second and third overall, respectively.

Firecracker 5K
Adam Benford in Ripley
For the women it was 15 year-old Jessica Taylor(20:11) getting the win, and finishing 13th overall. Taylor didn't get any chance to enjoy the crowd as she came to the finish line because Sara Walker(20:19) and Monica Pence(20:21) were right behind; only ten seconds separated the top three female finishers, as Walker and Pence finished second and third overall, respectively.

This was the first year for this race, and it had over 85 participants! This only happened as a result of all the hard work by Bob Harris, and he was helped out by lots of volunteers during the race. Great job by all!