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Saturday, August 21, 1999 -- Parkersburg
Wendy's of Parkersburg 2 Mile Run, Fun Run/Walk
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]

A two-mile sprint to the finish
In the shadow of the of the USA National Half Marathon Championships (aka: the Parkersburg Half Marathon) is the Wendy's Two Mile Run, Fun Run and Walk. Using the same starting line, and beginning just minutes after the half marathon, this event is slightly more casual with folks of all abilities invited to participate. With a beautiful morning greeting everyone on Saturday, August 21st, close to 500 individuals, young and old, were ready to dash through the streets for two miles of fun.

Fun, for some, translates into a flat out sprint for the fastest possible two mile time. The fleetest feet in the group quickly moved to the front with William Ricker eventually taking up the lead position. Ricker, of Mineral Wells, WV, raced to a first place finish in a time of 9:24 at a pace of 4:42 per-mile. His time was good enough to beat the best time recorded in the 1998 Two Miler. Coincidentally, last year's winning time of 9:35 was set by another runner from Mineral Wells, James Galloway. Must be something in the water!?

For one day it's safe to play in the streets of Parkersburg
Also recording times of under ten minutes for the two miles where the second and third place overall finishers. Damian Kellogg, of Athens, OH, crossed the line after just 9:41 to capture second place honors with West Virginia native Jared Smith taking third place in 9:55.

Monica Pence, of Ravenswood, WV, was the fastest woman two-miler. Her finishing time 11:49 set her pace as the only female averaging under 6-minute miles. Tesia Cole, of Rio Grande, OH, took second place in a time of 12:05. Third place went to Vienna, WV's Karen Keller (12:18) who edged out Williamstown, WV's Sally Holtgrewe (12:20).

All her ducks in a row for two miles of fun running
Hundreds more crossed the finish in varying states of running or walking. It didn't matter if they were 7 or 77, the enthusiastic Parkersburg crowd gave them all a warm welcome at the finish. As the final groups of friends and family made their way to the finish, they soon became fans as the half marathon runners would soon be along to finish their day's challenge at the same finish line. Two miles or 13.1, Parkersburg once again filled the streets for a morning of fun, and running.

Many thanks go out to the generous local volunteers, Wendy's of Parkersburg, Bill Sherry and Super Race Systems, the racing fans, Karen Matthews and the offices of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, and all the friendly residents of Parkersburg. We'll be back in 2000 as the streets will once again be transformed into a a runner and walker playground.