Share |

Thursday, November 25, 1999 -- Beckley
Story and photos by Don Parks
23rd Annual Thanksgiving Day Run

[Coverage/Recap] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Ali Franklin
Wishing all the fans a happy Thanksgiving
[1998 Race Coverage]

A rainy morning didn't stop Beckley from attracting its largest crowd in recent memory for the 23rd Annual Thanksgiving Day Run. A little morning exercise seems to be a popular justification for spending the afternoon at the dinner table and on the couch watching football games.

The rain held off during the races but cool temperatures with plenty of clouds and fog prevailed. It certainly didn't slow over a dozen enthusiastic youngsters as they got the show started with a one mile run just after 9:00am. Soon after that the big kids got their fun started as they set out for a five mile run or walk.

Having fun in the streets of Beckley
This all made for an interesting finish in the one mile event as the out-and-back course sent the kids right into the start of the five mile race. Undaunted by the charge of oncoming adults, Chris Payne and Daniel Fulks battled to a one-two finish, respectively. Ali Franklin finished third overall and was the first young lady to complete the mile.

The five mile competitors raced over two out and back routes with the first making up close to four miles. The second leg was just a little over a mile but made up for its short distance with a demanding uphill climb to the finish.

Milton Webb
Milton Webb makes the final hill look easy
Controlling the race early was Aaron Kaylor who set a fast pace as Duane Dombek and Jerry Feliu chased not far behind. Kaylor held the lead through the turnaround point in the first leg and through the first two miles. During the third mile, though, Kaylor was finding it difficult to maintain his early speed. He later said, "I knew if I kept up that pace I'd be crawling up the final hill."

As Kaylor's pace slowed, Dombek jumped on the opportunity and moved up into the lead. Dombek went on to take the overall win in 29:04 while Kaylor held on for second in 29:27. Chasing the leaders and capturing third place was Feliu who finished at 29:43.

Donna Akers
Donna Akers finishes her 400th running race
Among the women it was Kathy Lencio (30:34) dominating the field and taking home first place honors and improving almost a minute over her 1998 time. Her closest rivals were Tanya Knight (36:09) and Chris Presley (36:42) who took home the second and third place trophies, respectively.

In the five mile walk it was William Cunningham who made his way to the finish first. The first female walker to complete the course was Betty Burgess

Following all the racing was a splendid awards ceremony in the comfy confines of the Beckley YMCA. Plenty of medals and trophies were handed out as well as an abundance of food and drinks. Taking home a special award was Donna Akers who used the day's run to reach 400 career races. Congratulations to everyone who participated and earned a few extra helpings at the Thanksgiving dinner table.