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Monday, September 4, 2000 -- Greensburg, PA
Labor For Lungs 5K
Story and photos by Julie Black

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

Labor For Lungs 5K
Running for a good reason
Many folks may not realize how important their lungs are, but the people who participated in this year's Labor for Lungs 5K Run & Walk are certainly grateful for theirs. This event originated in 1997, when the Connelly Transplant Fund was formed to support the financial costs of Thomas P. Connelly's double-lung transplant. Tom finally received his transplant on August 26th of 1999, and was able to participate in this year's 5K, which now helps all adult patients with cystic fibrosis who are in need double-lung transplants.

"If it hadn't been for this race, it's supporters, and my donor," said Tom Connelly, "I would be dead."

His statement may be a harsh reality for some, but Tom is living proof that this 5K... is worth the entry fee.

Labor For Lungs 5K
Hello from Greensburg!
A familiar running team could be seen at the starting line. IUP grads, Gina & Mike McGee (#'s 45 & 46), have been a dynamic duo for some time now. The husband and wife team have been seen at many races in the area.

Mike McGee avenged his 2nd place finish of '99 to take 1st overall this year with a time of 17:03. "I ran with the pack, and then at the last hill," explained Mike, "I lost the young runner next to me." Gina McGee, finished with a faster time for 2000 to take 1st for the women in 19 min. & 5 seconds. "She was pulling out fast in the first mile." said Mike about his wife, "She just took off! I though I was going to have HER to worry about at the finish."

"It's hard," said Gina, "You see all the guys take off like that. I had to slow myself down after the 1st mile. I was coming out way too fast. I really wanted to get under 19 minutes."

Labor For Lungs 5K
Peggy Thomas always has a smile on her face
Other winners for the day included great times for the 2nd place overall finisher, Rick Brickley (17:58), and 3rd place overall Rocky McGeary (18:26).

The women kept their strides consistently strong on the somewhat, rolling course as well. Natalie Rothrauff took home the 2nd place trophy with a time of 20 min. & 39 seconds, and Angie Garlowich (21:37), crossed the line as the 3rd woman.

Competition in the 5K Walk was tough as usual, as it tends to be in Pennsylvania. Really having a good day was Steve Bence, who was passing some runners to the line. Bence's training has paid off, since he claimed the top spot with a fast time of 27:08.

Labor For Lungs 5K
Steve Bence speed walks his way to 1st place
Keeping his pace under 9 minute miles was Ken James (27:56), who glided to 2nd overall in the walk. Carolyn Brooks (33:24), had great form across the line to take 1st for the ladies, and Cheryl Giron (33:33), finished 2nd.

After everyone was done sweating in the race, it was time for refreshments and an enlightening speech given by Thomas P. Connelly. The event had loads of volunteers, a fairly forgiving course, and a great raffle. This is certainly one we hope to do again next year. See you there?

Check the PA Schedule for more races coming up in your area!