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Saturday, May 13, 2000 -- Keyser, WV
Tornado Masters Classic 5K
Story and photos by Matt Marcus

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

Tornado Masters Classic
Wait for me!
Race promoter Joe Altobello may have been a little disappointed with the turnout for the 9AM start on Saturday morning, considering he had opened entry to everyone in what used to be a master's only event. But the word got out to at least two competitors under 40, which assured the crowning of both masters and 39 and under, overall winners.

Temperatures reached 75 degrees by the start but it was the humidity that effected racers over the mostly shaded flat 5k course that included two turnarounds. No new course records were broken but overall women's winner Pat Santoro did reach her goal of a sub 24 minutes and commented "It's a really nice race and the people are really great".

Tornado Masters Classic
Tony Yurko having fun on the run
One of those 39 and under runners was eventual overall winner Tony Yurko. The father of four who is trying to coordinate a race schedule also had to chase down the rabbit, overall masters winner Tom Langan. "I always go for it in the beginning" said Langan who is not only over ten years older than Yurko but is also a single parent of six! When asked where he trained in Cumberland, Md. he laughed and said mostly on a treadmill or, when he got a chance, around the block.

Yurko caught Langan after the first mile and maintained his lead for the duration. Many other competitors were only out to race the clock with some pretty impressive times for runner's aged into their late 80's.

The same racecourse is used for the July event, which will certainly draw a larger field of runners. The course is good, the people are friendly and the race is run and scored well. Keyser Athletic Boosters sponsor this event and proceeds benefit athletic teams of Keyser High School.