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Saturday, May 19, 2001 -- Front Royal, VA
Kiwanis Mushroom Festival 5K (iPO Event Id#: 3079)
Story by Neal Riemenschneider and photos by Karsten Brown (the famous web master for the SVR)

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


and the clouds gather
Mulling about before the start
Now the race application billed itself as the Front Royal Kiwanis Mushroom Festival 5K, but as I drove into the town of Front Royal, I saw signs advertising the Mushroom and Wine Festival to be held that day. Now, I am not a big mushroom fan, but I am a big wine fan so I was hoping there would be lots of one and little of the other at the race.

Okay, so I have been called a bit of a dreamer, but I can try can't I? Race sight, Warren County Middle School, had neither wine nor mushrooms. But it did bring back a ton of memories as I taught at this location over 20 years ago.

The hilly course used the neighborhoods near the school and had an out-and-back stretch on the nearby campus of Randolph Macon Academy. Surprisingly, the campus appeared a bit deserted, as I would have thought the students would have been out drilling and marching. Well, that's the second thing I got wrong on this morning.

Frank Curiel of nearby Middletown, VA, became the pre-race favorite as soon as he stepped out of his car. As a matter of fact, he could have just thrown his racing flats out on the road, picked his finish time and everyone would have conceded him the win. High stepping it at the gun, Curiel ran a comfortable 17:23 to take the victory.

"I really haven't been able to get in much running the past few weeks. It just felt good to be back out on the roads competing," said the 34 year-old substitute teacher for Frederick County Schools. "For the first year, it was a nice little race." Curiel, ever gracious, actually went off course near the end, which probably added 15 or so seconds to his time but felt no need to complain. Finishing as the top master was the guy who writes this drivel (and thanks Mom and Dad for your support) in 18:26.

Race Pic
The women's race had a very close finish as retiree Sandy Adams narrowly beat 14 year-old Christina Moore by 3 seconds. Moore led for the first half of the race. "I didn't know if I would catch her," said Adams after the race. "She had a pretty good lead but when she started to slow on the long hill I thought I could get her." Moore kept it close but never could get back to Adams. Adams hit the finish line first in 20:46 while Moore was second in 20:49. The top master was Sue Cathcart in 39:57.

There were 60 finishers in this first time event that was aptly directed by Terry Leckie. Thanks to sponsors Marathon Bank, Antique Arms, Bill Powers Insurance, Weihcert Realtors, Edward Jones Investors and First Bank for their support. Additionally, thanks go out to the Kiwanis members who served as course marshals and the fine efforts of the Front Royal Town Police Department.

The "Oh Mom" award goes to poor soul 15 year-old Andrew Haywood who was called up to chose a random award. His mother, the ever timid and quiet Lucy Haywood, yelled out, "Grab that 84 Lumber shirt for your dad!" (Father Brian is a shop teacher at the school) When the dutiful son brought back the requested shirt as he was told, Lucy then yelled out, "Take it back and exchange it for that nice bag and give it to your mother." An exasperated and slightly embarrassed Andrew replied, with every teenager's response, of "Yes, Mom."

Finally, the second half of this Riemenschneider tag team of writing and photography showed up while the last few runners were finishing the race. When I asked my 19 year-old daughter Shea what happened, she told me she didn't realize she had to make a right early in the drive down, and ended up about 40 miles in the wrong direction before she realized she was going the wrong way. Of course, just like her mother, she proceeded to blame the whole thing on me. So if there are pictures here, a big hearty thank you to Shenandoah Valley Runner's "Mr. Everything" Karsten Brown for sending them in. Brown also took care of the results in his usual prompt manner.