Share |

Sunday, April 22, 2001 -- Martinsburg, WV
S.M.A.R.T. Healthplex Danny Walsh 5K (iPO Event Id#: 3084)
Story by Neal Riemenschneider with photos by Shea Riemenschneider

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

Pre-Race Instruction
Now pay attention, there will be a quiz after the race!
Seventy runners and walkers took to the country roads outside Martinsburg, WV for this annual event. The race has many names and they all have special meaning. S.M.A.R.T. Healthplex/Danny Walsh 5K Run-Walk is the official name for the event. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the sports medicine clinic and the Healthplex is part of the Dorothy A. McCormack Cancer Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, which are all associated with Martinsburg Hospital. Additionally, Danny Walsh was an avid area runner and high school running coach who was tragically killed nine years ago. This was the last event that Danny participated in and this year's race, coincidentally, was held on the day of his birthday. The race always gets a fair amount of walkers who come out and support the Cancer Center and enjoy strolling on the scenic country roads.

As for the race itself, after getting rid of a couple of pretenders, the guy who is writing this and Mark Vann ran together for most of the race. Vann pulled away in the last 1/2 mile to take the win in 18:10. "I like it when you [me, Neal R.] are in the race as I just pace off you and then pull away at the end. I just find it easier to let you go fast, slow, or surge and I just cover you," explained the 34 year-old Vann. This 46 year-old slow poke was 12 seconds back in 18:22. Finishing third was Mark Neely in 19:28.

Justin Davis
Putting it in high gear for a big finish
Unlike Vann, women's winner Ruth Riemenschneider took the lead at the 1/2 mile mark and sailed to victory in 20:57. "I always like to run my own race. There were two women ahead of me who went out really fast but I let them go. They came back to me pretty quickly and when I passed them I could tell they were already struggling," said the 43 year-old Riemenschneider. Finishing second was early race leader (she was ahead of me!) Judy Warner (23:30) while 16 year old Jillian Morton (24:07) took third. Top women's master was 48 year-old track and cross-country coach Nancy Specht who finished with a time of 24:08. Go Nancy!

Thanks to Pete Wright, who did the timing, for providing results and the ever-affable Karsten Brown for putting them in the proper format for this web page. Kudos also to Les Dutko of S.M.A.R.T for doing an excellent job of race directing and to Martinsburg's finest for course control.