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Thursday, May 18, 2000 -- Connellsville, PA
Anchor Glass / Rolling Rock 5K
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Run OA] [Run by Class] [Walk OA] [Walk by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Anchor Glass/Rolling Rock 5K
James E. Smith is all smiles at the start of the 5K Walk
"I think I'm the oldest guy here." said a very enthusiastic James E. Smith who is 75 years old going on 76. "This is my hometown." he said with a proud smile. I heard those words over and over again. The town of South Connellsville is one of those suburbs or boroughs outside of Pittsburgh that's just far enough outside the "big city" limits to keep that home town flair, but close enough to have thousands of Steeler, Pirate, and Penguin fans who consider themselves, from the burgh.

This was the 8th year that the Anchor Glass Plant put on the 5K Run and Walk, and from the numbers and positive karma that hung around this race like the humidity in the air, it was easy to see why so many folks keep coming back. Not to mention the fact that the number one race sponsor, Rolling Rock Brewery of Latrobe, PA supplies a post-race celebration that is always worth sticking around for!

Anchor Glass/Rolling Rock 5K
Finishing the race at sunset
The course started and ended at the Anchor Glass Plant where 56 walkers and over 80 runners completed the 3.1 mile loop of paved roads, and rolling residential hills in over 80 degree temperatures.

Kicking off hard from the start was Connellsville native Brad Herrington. "I think it's a bad omen to look back in a race." said Herrington, "It's bad when they catch you looking." There was no looking back for Herrington, who had a 200 yard lead over his competition. He finished 1st Overall with a time of 17:09. There's no doubt that 17 min. was a fast time for the very hilly course.

Anchor Glass/Rolling Rock 5K
Gina Shell cools down after running hard through the heat
The race for 2nd Overall was pretty close as Bob Nedley and Rick Brooks "duked it out". Nedley(18:06), turned on the speed in mile 3 and gained quite a lead of 7 seconds to capture the 2nd place trophy. Brooks, another Connellsville native, took 3rd with a finishing time of 18 minutes and 13 seconds.

The women's race for first place was certainly something you don't see everyday. It was hard to tell who crossed the line as the 1st female, but not because the times were close, but because the women who finished 1st and 2nd in the 5K Run looked identical. That's right, they're twins! Tammy(20:42), & Gina Shell(21:41), from just over the bridge in Uniontown share a competitive interest in running, and also work for SERJ, the professional timing team who provided the race results. Not only do they know how to keep up a great steady pace, but they also know how to time a race. Angie Garlowich beat the heat with a sweet time of 22:19 to take 3rd.

Anchor Glass/Rolling Rock 5K
Steve Bence is determined to stay in front right from the start
In the 5K Walk, it was Ken James who speed away with the win, leading from line to line receiving the top spot with a smokin' 26:45. Steve Bence(27:01), finished a strong second. Jamie Brooks from Connellsville took home the 3rd Overall walker's prize, and finished 1st for the women in 27 minutes and 47 seconds.

After the race, crowds of families and friends gathered for the awards ceremony, and a post-race party at the fire hall. If you missed the race this year don't fret, because this is one event that will be around for 2001!

Many thanks to the South Connellsville Fire Department for leading the way on the course, the Rolling Rock Brewery for their generosity, the Anchor Glass Plant for their wonderful hospitality, and SERJ for their excellent timing skills, and smiles that mean so much. Those guys and gals know what they're doing out there.

A very special thank you goes out to the South Connellsville Police who kept this reporter from driving the wrong way down a one way more than once in an evening!