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Saturday, June 16, 2001 -- Clarksburg, WV
CAR Series - Lowes of Clarksburg WVIHF 5K Run (iPO Event Id#: 2991)
Story and photos by Dave McKain

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

[1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

Taylor and Bear do battle
As the competitors lined up for the start of the WV Italian Heritage Festival - they knew it would be a tough one. It didn't matter whether you were vying for the title or just trying to race against your own PR - the humidity on Saturday morning was about as high as it could be without raining. If you had made the trip down from the north, you hoped that the rains that were hovering around Morgantown and Fairmont would stay where they were, at least until the race was over.

The course for the State 5K Championship was not too difficult. Out from the start for the first mile over relatively flat and wide roads to a turnaround and back to where you started. Once there, it was downhill for about 1/4 mile then around Wal-Mart and out to the finish. The roads were kept clear of any vehicular traffic thanks to the local police departments, security guards and volunteers. If you were fast, lucky or both, a tropy and possibly a title was waiting at the finish for you.

Why are these guys smiling?
Two individuals who were chomping at the bit race morning were Larry Taylor and Heather Bury. Bury was there to defend her 2000 WV State Womens 5K title while Taylor, 1999 State Champion and coming off the previous weeks WV 10K title, was trying to regain the 5K title he lost by 20 seconds in 2000 to David Lyle.

Bury took the heat and humidity in stride, easily winning her second straight title with a time of 17:50. Taking second place for the women was Stephanie Hatfield of Clarksburg with a time of 19:55. Rounding out the top three for the women was Bridgeport's Ashley Wislon taking third place with a time of 21:15. Things would not be as easy for Taylor as they were for Bury.

Could this be Bury's competition in a couple years?
Taylor quickly moved to the front after the start but he would not be alone for the race. Youngster Matt Bear would keep Taylor company for a while while Danny Edgell was hovering close behind. As they approached the 2 mile mark, Taylor and Bear were still neck and neck and, judging from the pace, a record was going to fall. As the pair drew within 100 yards of the finish line, Taylor moved around Bear and started the sprint, hoping that Bear's younger legs wouldn't be up to the challenge. Happily, for Taylor, Bear wasn't up to the challenge that morning and he crossed the line 2 seconds ahead of Bear (15:48) to regain his title with a record time of 15:46.

Only time will tell how long Taylor will be able to keep his title with some of the younger runners turing in impressive times. In the Mens 15-19 class, Kenny Beerbower (17) finished with a time of 16:25 - good enough for a 6th place overall finish while Kevin Boyce (21) turned in a 16:35. In the Mens 30-34 class, Randy Gibbs and Tony Basta duked it out with Gibbs (16:21) winning the battle by 2 seconds for a fourth place overall finish (Basta: 16:23 - 5th overall). In the Mens 45-49 class, Morgantown's Ed Froxhnapfol finished with a time of 16:41 - good enough for 8th overall. Frohnapfol, who had hoped for a better time, stated that the humid conditions made it difficult to breathe and kept him from a doing better.

The participants hung out after the race, waiting for the awards presentations, chomping on bananas and cookies and chugging down gatorade. As an award to themselves, many stayed after the race to enjoy the fine cuisine offered by the vendors at the festival.