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Saturday, July 15, 2000 -- New Martinsville, WV
Tad Fitzsimmons Memorial 5K
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

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

Tad Fitzsimmons 5K
We're just singing in the rain!
The unseasonably chilly July rain storm did not dampen the spirits of over 200 runners and walkers who came out to the mountain town of New Martinsville for the first ever, Tad Fitzsimmons Memorial 5K. Tad Fitzsimmons was just 20 years old when he lost his life last year just outside of his home town in a tragic automobile accident. In his memory, the 5K Race which benefitted a local scholarship fund was organized by friends and family members. Tad was known by the community as an active young man involved in many things. He was a hard working college student who wanted to dedicate his life to teaching Special Ed. "He was just a really good kid," said his Aunt.

Tad Fitzsimmons 5K
Tony Basta kicks it over the rail road tracks to the line
With an army of volunteer firefighters, school teachers, police, and others, the race was ready to get underway. The short rain delay was out of the way, and racers were warmed up. The course was marked with volunteers pointing the way at every turn, with lots of rights and lefts involved.

"Right before the 1 mile marker, I took the lead." commented Basta. Zipping to the front at roaring pace, Tony Basta used his good form and high steps to fly him to the finish with the overall win and a time of 16:03. "There was some mud out there on one of those roads, I'm not sure, but this was a great course!" added Basta with a smirk.

Fighting for the 2nd spot with some heavy pavement pounding going on was David Schupbach, Craig Nething, and Matt Quinet. It was a sprint to the finish over the train tracks with Nething(17:20) edging out the rest to claim the 2nd place trophy. Just 1 second behind Nething was Schupbach(17:21) kicking it in for 3rd, and 2 seconds behind him, Quinet ran hard for 4th with a time of 17:23.

Tad Fitzsimmons 5K
Julie McGee puts it in high gear
Smoking the women's competition by taking 1st at the very large 1999 Debbie Green Memorial 5K, Charity Pefferman made an appearance for 2000 to claim 1st in the 5K Run with a time of 19:43.

Keeping up her strong finishes was Julie Mcgee(20:09), who ran away with 2nd for the ladies. Rachel Fox(20:40), took home 3rd respectively.

The walkers contended with the slick course and rain fall just fine as George Macek & Bill Cunningham rounded the last turn just before the downhill finish. Cunningham stayed on top of Macek's heels, but it was Macek in the end who clenched 1st in the Walk in 29 minutes, and 58 seconds.

Tad Fitzsimmons 5K
George Macek looks has Bill Cunningham on his heels
After the race was over, an incredible dinner of spaghetti, slaw, and chocolate cake was dished out under the pavilion. Interesting raffle prizes such as WV crafts, and biking apparel were given away, along with some unique trophies.

The rain finally ceased, and a faint rainbow spread itself across the night sky. "A perfect ending for a perfect day." said race organizer, Terry Greene.

Many Thanks... goes out to Terry Greene and Bob Lowe for their amazing efforts. To Robyn, Vic, Jay and the Fitzsimmons family for their dedication, and hard work, and to George Frazier & Ronnie Green for the results.