Share |

Saturday, March 24, 2001 -- Connellsville, PA
Yough River Trail Council Half Marathon & 5K (iPO Event Id#: 3035)
Story by Mike Monroe

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [2000 Race Coverage]

32MB Dumb Media Card
The photos from the race, stuck on "Smart" Media
Note on race photos: While Mike Monroe braved the wintry weather and took over 100 photos at the event, problems occurred on Sunday. It seems the "Smart" Media disk went dumb and trying to copy the images from the disk has proved futile.
The Yough River Trail Council Half Marathon and 5k was held this past weekend in Connelsville, Pennsylvania, on the Yough River Trail, of course. Old Man Winter was letting everyone know that he was still around saying don't get to excited for spring. He still seemed in control of the weather, but even with the cold and nasty conditions, many people were out enjoy themselves on the trail.

The Half Marathon started at 10am sharp. All the runners got to the trail early and got warmed up and all stretched out before the race, which was hard in the wintry weather. Some runners even ran a couple of miles to warm up before the 31.1 mile race! They ran to warm up and even more to cool down, with some of the racers putting in twenty miles by the end of the day.

When 10 o'clock rolled around it was time to start, with the traditional "ready... set... go...", they were off! They raced their way out and back on the flat and scenic trail. On their way back, Brian McPeake was the first to zoom through the finish with a time of 1:16:57. The next runners through were Ed Koontz (1:18:52) and Mike Bitner (1:20:51). They were all very close at the beginning but by the top three were sorted out well before they crossed the line.

The women also had a some close early racing between Sabine Kane, Patricia Buerkle, and Angie Garlowich. They pushed themselves throughout the course by staying real close and making sure their presence was known to the other racers. In the end it was Kane at 1:35:51, Buerkle at 1:37:04, and Garlowich at 1:41:58.

The 5k runners were there to race, too. They were all ready to go as it rolled around to race time. The men's division was lead by the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinal, Matt Barnes. Matt runs for Wheeling Jesuit and growing up near Connellsville he thought it would be great to race back home. Also, Matt's high school running coach, Brian McPeake, was competing in (and winning) the half marathon. The top three men flew through the finish line with just 3 seconds separating Barnes (17:32) from Eddie Filcheck (17:35), also a native of the area. Not too far back was David Madison (17:48) who edged out Andy Gleason (17:50) at the line.

The 5K race was also run by a lot of women. Rita Cooper and Danielle Wassam traded places and were always in close proximity of each other all through the race. Rita crossed the line first with a time of 23:01 while Danielle finished close behind with a time of 23:19. The third place trophy went to June Graham (24:06).

A 5k walk was also held during the event. Female competitor Jamie Brooks was the first of the walkers to cross the line with a time of 27:49 followed by Ron Brooks, the first male, crossing the line with a time of 30:18. Clyde Johnson and Walter "Flash" Rondeau were neck and neck as they approach the line for third overall and Clyde gave all he had left to cross the line just a fraction of a second ahead of "Flash", both recording a finishing time of 33:28.

With everyone packing up and leaving the trail, it was kind of sad to see everyone go. Several minutes after everyone left, the few people walking their dogs and jogging on the trail must have wondered what had happened ot the Yough River Trail this Saturday morning. So next year don't be left wondering, come out and race in the Yough River Trail Council race. It's fun whether you're a walker, 5k runner or half marathoner.