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Saturday, March 24, 2001 -- Huntington, WV
Tim Wells Memorial 5K Run (iPO Event Id#: 2963)
Story and photos by George Gannon

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

Race Pic
Starting a race against the rain
Although he may not have said it until after the race, Larry Taylor had a solid strategy for the Tim Wells Memorial 5K on Saturday, March 24.

"The Fayette County folks are going to start intimidating people," joked Taylor. His comment may have been made in jest, but anyone who saw the 40-year-old speedster blaze to the finish line would have been more than a little impressed.

The race, held at the beautiful Ritter Park in Huntington, had strong group of competitors, a flawless track, and a wonderful group of race organizers. However, Mother Nature did not see fit to add to the mix. Although it was only overcast at first, an icy rain began to fall about 10 minutes into the race.

The rain that fell dropped on a flat, fast course that sent the racers through Ritter Park, and around the streets of residential Huntington. An out-and-back course, it's a gradual downhill to the turn around, then a gradual up-hill back to the finish line.

Race Pic
High steppin' at Huntington's Ritter Park
Out of the gate, Taylor was running with the pack. But, at the half-mile mark, things began to change. Although 18-year-old Justin Cox and 17-year-old Justin Rogers were hot on his trail, Taylor shifted into over-drive and pulled ahead for good.

Taylor sprinted passed the finish line with a time of 16:07. Cox pulled in behind him at 16:47. Rounding out the top three was Rogers, with a time of 16:53.

Following the race, Taylor said he was happy with his time. His first time running the race, Talyor said that it was a great course that allowed for some fast times.

When asked about the friged downpour, Taylor acknowledged that he "liked it better that way. I don't mind it at all. When I first took off it was too hot. I had to change clothes I was sweating so much. That rain cooled it off and made it really nice."

Race Pic
Sprinting to a rather wet finish
Cox was also pleased with his time, and the weather, saying "it felt good."

The ladies were in for a little dose of that famed Taylor Talent, as well. Larry's 17-year-old daughter Jessica took top honors for the women, crossing the finish line with a time of 18:48. Jessica, who finished a well over a minute before any other women, echoed her father's sentiments, saying "I love running in the rain."

Kelly McGraw, a young 28, took the number two spot (20:05), and Barbara Kuhlemier grabbed the number three spot (21:41) at the fine racing age of 42.

After the race was over, the park shelter was bursting with people. However, even with the rain, the good vibes could not be dampened. It was a great event, in memory of a great guy, with all the proceeds going to the Tim Wells Memorial Scholarship Fund.