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Wednesday, July 4, 2001 -- Winchester, VA
Liberty 5K and Kids Run (iPO Event Id#: 3880)
Story by Neal Riemenschneider with photos by Shea Riemenschneider

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

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Running for Liberty
The Winchester Parks and Recreation Department and the Shenandoah Valley Runners held the Fourth Annual Liberty 5K Race and Kids Run in bucolic Jim Barnett Park. Early morning showers ended a few hours before race start and race conditions were cloudy and humid. A record number of participants registered for the race with 163 in the 5K and 56 kids in the 3 fun run distances.

The 5K course is a certified loop that begins and ends in the park and traverses city streets and winds through Shenandoah University (Go Hornets!). Mike Tanner, Michael Donovan and Chris Northrup quickly separated themselves in the first quarter mile and stayed together until the one mile mark. Tanner then made a move and gapped the 2 runners and established a lead he would keep until the finish line.

"The course wasn't as bad as everyone said it was. It wasn't as hilly as I thought it would be. I am just real disappointed in my finish time," explained the Warren County 4th grade teacher. Tanner's wining time was 17:36, which saw him finish 14 ticks ahead of Donovan. The fading Northrup, a frequent training partner and the recipient of my good-natured ribbing, barely hung on for third finishing in 18:13. "I felt really good the first mile but that was about it," said Northrup in a tremendous understatement.

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Definitely a group activity
For the women, retired government worker Sandy Adams took the lead at the gun and was never pressed. Said Adams, "It was pretty humid out today and I just tried to stay relaxed and not push too hard. I took it easy on the hills and that helped me to finish strong." Adams finishing time was 22:14 while Mary Washington College student Stephanie Jenkins (23:05) was second and Vicky Krossman (23:22) was third.

Lorie Weimar (24:18) and Kathy Manzo (24:38) were the top female masters while the guy with the same name as me (18:33) and Bill Osuch (19:28) finished as the top male masters.

55 kids participated the 3 kids' races. A 100-yard dash for ages 5 and under, a 1/4 mile for ages 6-9 and kids 10 and up ran a 1/2 mile. Winners were Tyler Sweeney and Elizabeth Mislowsky in the 1/2, Jimmy Dingess and Jenny Ice in the 1/4, and Logan Shiffer and Devon Davis in the 100. All kids received ribbons just for finishing.

After the races, there were numerous random drawings. I think the kids had the best random drawings. Numerous items were drawn for the youngsters including: kites, sundaes, splash bombs, splash pets, super soaker water guns and Nerf soccer balls, footballs and frisbees. I tried to sneak my race number into the kids' drawings but the random drawing police said "No dice big fella."

Co-Race Directors Sharon Farinholt and Rosie Schiavone did another great job with race organization. Every turn was manned, registration went smoothly and the awards ceremony was fast and efficient. It was a great morning to run and kudos to both Sharon and Rosie for a job well done.

14 year old Larry Babson, a rising sophomore at Sherando High School, summed it up nicely when he said, "I thought it would be cool to run this race and it was!"

I'm just still pouting because I didn't get a chance to win a splash pet.