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Saturday, July 21, 2001 -- Fairmont, WV
23rd Annual Mon. Valley Bank Fairmont 5K & 10K Run (iPO Event Id#: 3050)
Photos by Julie Black

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

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Getting underway in Fairmont
The smell of fresh cut grass and the heavy aroma of summer vacation lingered in the air on the morning of one of West Virginia's oldest 10Ks. As neighbors brushed the cobwebs off of their fold-out chairs, a crowd of runners laced up their shoes and headed to the starting line of the 23rd Annual Monongahela Valley Bank Fairmont 5K and 10K.

The title may be long, but the 10K course as it's rumored, seems even longer! As young, enthusiastic D. J. Navarini puts it, "You can't start out too fast, that 2nd loop will kill you." If one was to place an ear to the street, runners feet may be saying, "This may be a tougher course than the Clarksburg 10K!"

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Just another day in the sun
The 5K Run started with a bang, as did the 10K just seconds after the 5K runners took off around the outside of East-West Stadium. While the racers were out pounding the pavement, the fun run took place. Kids flew past the crowds at some fast speeds, finishing their short race on the track.

After the fun run excitement, folks knew that the 5K runners would be showing up at any minute. Around the 2nd to last corner came Mathias Hickman, a Fairmont local. Blazing over the line with a time of 18:59, Hickman won himself the 1st place honors. Josh Mason of Rachel, WV (19:12), and another Fairmont native David J. Nuzum (19:55), rounded out the top spots in the 5K at 2nd and 3rd.

Looking strong with a 7th overall finish in the 5K, Fairmont favorite Holly Hunter snatched 1st for the women in 20:37. Just behind her, a striding Sarah Corley (20:42), who's also from Fairmont, took 8th overall and 2nd for the ladies. Washington, PA's Bethie Murdock crossed the line in 21:19 to capture 3rd.

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Cole Carpenter hammers out a 10K victory
The moderate temps, and slight breezes were a bonus on the 10K course, complete with challenging hills up and down hot, paved roads. Just as the heat was getting ready to get started, a runner could be seen through the haze in the distance, topping the Virginia Street hill. Cole Carpenter high stepped it down the last stretch before the stadium all alone. The Harrisville, WV runner kept a 2 minute or so lead on his competition to finish 1st overall in the 10k with a time of 36:27. Also looking impressive on "the downs" was Murshid Latif (38:23), of Weston, who snatched 2nd. Jared Smith (38:51), held on strong for 3rd overall.

The ladies battle was equally spread, with racers running their own race. Leah Erinrich of Morgantown crossed the line 1st for the women with a time of 45:21. Carol Davis (48:07), and Malissa Shreeve (49:19), topped the podium at 2nd and 3rd.

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To the victors go the spoils
After the races, folks were treated to a large variety of refreshments, and some great raffle prizes. Large trophies were given to overall and age group winners, and fun run top finishers. This event has been well organized for 23 years. It's top notch, with lots of water stops, time splits, prizes, and excellent looking T-Shirts. This event also has one of the nicest race directors around, Robert Steele, who not only organizes well, but he also raced in his own 5K the day of the race!
Special Thanks -
Thanks to all of the volunteers, the Fairmont Police, and the race sponsors who made this event possible; Monongahela Valley Bank, Marion County All-Star Race Series, Mountain State Physical Therapy, News Channel 5 WDTV, Country Club Health Center, Marion County Parks & Rec, Street People Running Club, and Fairmont Printing Company.