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Saturday, August 12, 2000 -- Morgantown, WV
Pfizer Run for Men's Health 5K
Story, race directing, and photos by Don Parks

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

Chet, Fred & Duke
Showing off their stamina at Pfizer's Men's Health 5K
The first ever running of the Pfizer Run for Men's Health was blessed with a wonderful morning for racing at Chestnut Ridge Regional Park. This 2000 MAGP series event was billed as a mostly downhill race, which obviously meant it couldn't start where it finished. So, the morning's first task was to assemble all the racers at the starting line.

With various shuttles, along with plenty of walking and jogging, the crowd of runners made their way north on Sand Springs Road, stopping almost one mile past Sand Springs Campground. The trip back to the finish would consist of close to a mile of slightly rolling to flat running on Sand Springs Road, before turning into the campground. Another half-mile loop on the gravel campground roads would take everyone back out to Sand Springs Road, that's when the course began it's real descent back to the finish.

With many runners happy to get off the gravels, the return to Sand Springs Road meant a paved surface for the final 1.5-mile dash to the finish. With just one short climb as the exception, the second half of the course was a downhill sprint with roughly 400 feet of elevation loss. Even with some tricky footing on the rocky roads that started the race, the course was certainly going to reward the runners with some fast times.

Ed & Murshid
Ed Frohnapfel and Murshid Latif... it's all downhill from here
The starting signal was given just after 9:00am, and the rough roads did not seem to slow Daniel Edgell or Kevin Williams as the two quickly sprinted out in front of the field. As they hit the mile mark just inside the campground, Williams and Edgell were stride-for-stride with a good gap an a crowd of chasing runners led by E. J. Linger and Derek Clark.

The two race leaders completed their lap around the campground and hit the pavement with no one making a move. However, with gravity now in their favor, the long legs of Edgell began to stride away from Williams. Edgell went on to finish alone at the front with a blistering time of 15:05. Williams easily took the second spot by crossing the line in 15:26.

While these leaders stayed clear of the competition, the racing behind them was intense. With Murshid Latif, seventh at the one-mile mark, pacing himself well early, he worked his way through the field nicely as the race progressed. His climb through the ranks ended at fourth place (16:00) as Clark (15:58) held him off in a close finish for third. An even closer finish had Ed Frohnapfel (16:09) slipping through the finish just ahead of Linger (16:10) for fifth.

Among the women participants, Erin O'Reilly reigned supreme speeding to the finish in 17:58 to take the top honors. Second place went to Stephanie Meleady who was clocked at the finish with a time of 18:30. Taking the third spot was Ryann Metheny (19:03) after keeping herself just ahead of Maria Stover (19:06), who finished fourth overall.

Mary Anne Meleady
Mary Anne Meleady enjoys the fast finish at Chestnut Ridge
Still over a hundred more runners made their way to the finish with a number of personal bests. With a contagious smile, "That was my lifetime PR," announced the 40-something Mary Anne Meleady after finishing her race.

After the racing everyone enjoyed plentiful refreshments on a beautiful morning in the park. Making things even a little more fun were the generous awards that included free weekend cabin rentals at Chestnut Ridge Park for the overall male and female finishers; etched glass mugs for the top three overall male and females; and unique, custom labeled, wine (non-alcoholic) bottles for the age group winners. Added to this were a slew of random prizes that included numerous t-shirts from WVOutside/iPlayOutside, several one-hour massages from the Priority Care Medical Group, Zyrtec coffee mugs, and the crowd favorite Viagra ties and watches.

It was all made possible thanks to the help of many volunteers along with the support of Chestnut Ridge Regional Park, the Morgantown Roadrunners / WV Track Club, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Thanks, too, to all those that came out and showed their support for the first event ever directed by WVOutside / iPlayOutside.