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Sunday, September 10, 2000 -- Nutter Fort, WV
United Way Kickoff 5K
Story and photos by Mike McCagh

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

United Way Kickoff 5K
Kicking things off in Nutter Fort
Hot! Hot! Hot! It was nothing but heat on the racer's mind Sunday in Nutterfort, WV, two miles outside Clarksburg, where 103 brave souls were registered for The Campaign Kick-Off 5K Run, hosted by the United Way of Harrison County, set to begin at 2 p.m.

The eighth part in a series of races in the Clarksburg area, this race tested a new factor in the racers repertoire: Endurance. The early afternoon temperatures were in the low 90's at race time, a distinct difference from the cool morning air which competitive running has grown accustomed.

United Way Kickoff 5K
Larry Taylor runs cool
It was clear the heat would be an ever-present factor as the contestants limbered up, stretched, ran, and hydrated themselves properly. The race was delayed by five minutes to clear traffic and everyone felt the heat in intermission as sweat ran thru t-shirts and dripped to the ground.

When the sound was given and the runner's were off, it was Larry Taylor pulling ahead seemingly unaffected by the heat baking off the pavement. As the race continued, water volunteers set up at the race midpoint became more and more crucial. Everyone wanted water. Some hot bodies reached for a cold cup with one hand, some grasped with two, some said "Throw it on me!" and were thus drenched in a quick cool splash.

United Way Kickoff 5K
Robin Stone gets the win
As the race wore on, a whirling wind spread across the park when the Healthnet helicopter landed on the soccer field adjacent to the finish line. A passerby said they wished they helicopter would fly over the whole course and cool off the contestants. But the refreshing breeze was short-lived as Larry Taylor collected first overall (16:53), Murshid Latif arriving second (17:17), and Josh Weekley coming in third (17:27).

Robin Stone, the first woman to cross the finish line, was awarded first place with a time of 22:06. Stone was closely trailed by Carol Davis who finished ten seconds later at 22:16. Kathy Willming collected third place in Women's at 23:39.

The 5K Run, part of a multitude of events at The United Way Sunday in the Park benefit, was over. All participants were free to enjoy the friendly open atmosphere of the venue, including a motorcycle show, arts and crafts of the area, live music, and plenty of cold water to drink.

Congratulations for finishing your race in the heat!