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Saturday, August 4, 2001 -- Monongah, WV
Monongahfest 5k (iPO Event Id#: 4052)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Little Girl
Looking picture perfect for a day at the Monongahfest
It all started first thing in the morning with the Monongahfest-ivities kicking off with a 7:00 AM country breakfast. All fueled up and ready to go the next thing on a full day of fun was the 5K run and walk. After that you could enjoy all the day's activities including a parade, craft show, games for the kids, music, more food (hey, what's a festival without funnel cakes and cotton candy?!), bingo, a duck race, and a whole lot more before the grand finale at 10:00 PM, fireworks!

The air was heavy as the morning fog was giving way to overcast skies as the runners and walkers lined up at the race start. But, the course was generous with 3.1 flat miles out-and-back along the scenic West Fork River Trail. Race Director Linda Huffman had everyone off and running with the starting gun at 9:00 AM.

Race Start
Off and running on the West Fork
The runners quickly disappeared down the trail as friends and family waited for their return to the finish. The first to come into sight was walk-on West Virginia University crosscountry runner Jonathan Wright. The Fairmont native had just spent six days as a counselor at the Gold Medal Camp in California, Pennsylvania. Even after putting in seventy-five miles of hard training during that time, the 19-year-old still had enough to take the win at 16:25.

Morgantown's Stephen Hiser ran with Wright for the first half-mile, but by the mile mark Hiser had to let him go. The 17-year-old easily held on for a second place finish at 17:45. Third place went to 16-year-old Josh Mason (18:03). One more shout-out goes to Morgantown's 16-year-old Jesse Vernon (18:16), who is currently interning with iPlayOutside, as he held off Mannington's 40-year-old Jim Cummings (18:18) for fourth overall.

Race Pic
I'll race you to the finish...
The Women's race saw Worthington's 17-year-old Nicole Anderson cross the finish for first with a time of 22:34. "I looked back a couple of times," admitted Anderson, a senior track and crosscountry runner for North Marion High School.

It looked like her teammate Erin Daniel (22:55), a 15-year-old junior from Fairmont, would take second place until she made tactical error. "I stopped when I goat back to the starting line thinking it was the finish," said Daniel. As it turns out she had another 100 meters to the finish. This was just enough time for seasoned veteran Mary Mlinarcik (22:50), the Fairmont State College track and cross country coach and assistant girls' track coach at Fairmont Senior High School, to sprint past leaving Daniel in third.

Race Pic
Don't look now, there might be someone behind you!
When it came to walking the 5K course the first to return to the finish was 48-year-old Rudy Vincent (37:46). Finishing second, and first for the ladies, was 11-year-old Courtney Ray (38:37).

After all the runners and walkers had completed their journey on the West Fork River Trail, it was time for random prizes and awards as the crowds gathered for the 11:00 AM parade. Everything ran smooth and Linda Huffman had plenty of help in making this inaugural race a success. Some of those folks include Bob Hiser & Terry Ryan (race timing), BFI, MCPARC, Russell Yost and the Mannington IGA, McDonald's, the Monongah VFD, Joni Currey (great cookies!), the Monongah Police Dept., the Monongahfest Committee, and all those that came out to participate. Linda says "Thanks!"