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Saturday, September 1, 2001 -- Charleston, WV
29th Annual Charleston Distance 15 Mile & 5K Runs (iPO Event Id#: 2788)
Story and photos by Ariana Kincaid

[Details] [Coverage]
[15M Results] [5K Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10]

Race Pic
It takes determination to get through 15 miles
It was a perfect day for the over one thousand runners who took to the streets of Charleston for the 29th Annual Charleston Distance Run and 5k. With temperatures in the low 70s, merciful cloud cover, low humidity, and a light breeze, weather was not a factor in this year's 15 miler and 5k race, as it was last year. The Kenyans again dominated the 15-miler field and the citizens of Charleston showed themselves to know the meaning of hospitality with lots of official and unofficial water and refreshment stops along the way.

First time entrant Wilson Onsare, 25--a native of Kenya training in West Chester, Pennsylvania--dominated the field with a 1:14:47 finish (that's a 4:49 pace, folks!). Almost a minute and a half behind him finished Daniel Kihara, 33, also a native Kenyan training in West Chester. Kihara finished with a time of 1:16:15. Kefah Reraro, 31, from Kenya, but training in Chapel Hill, NC, finished third with a time of 1:16:25. In fourth place was defending champion Gideon Mutisiya-he's almost a hometown boy, after eight appearances and five wins at the Distance Run. Kevin Williams of Charleston was the first West Virginia finisher, coming in 9th with a time of 1:24:40.

Russian Tatiana Titova was the Distance Run's first finishing female, with a time of 1:31:04. Titova trains in Gainesville, Florida, and finished 15th overall. The second place female was Kenyan Alice Murlithi, 27, of West Chester, PA, with a time of 1:34:59, finishing 22nd overall. In third place for the women was Aimee Phillippi, of Blacksburg, VA. The 24-year-old finished 25th overall with a time of 1:36:03.

Race Picx
The Kenyans rule the day in Charleston
Much was made of Larry Taylor's decision to forego the 5k and run the 15 miler instead (the 40-year-old Fayetteville native finished 13th overall, with a time of 1:30:04)-his defection left open a race he has won the past three years. The man who took Taylor's place shaved Taylor's 15:59 course record by over a minute and a half. Michael Cox, 25, completed the course in 14:25, proving his cross country and track coaching gig at Concord College is no fluke! Twenty-two-year-old Dave McCollam of Charleston, WV finished in second place with a time of 15:21. And Christopher Walsh, 17, Charleston, WV, finished third overall at 16:19.

For the women, Sara Walker of Morgantown, WV, led the pack, finishing in 18:52. Sarah Coyle, a fifteen-year-old from Charleston, WV, finished in 20:08, shaving nearly three and a half minutes off last year's time. Hurricane, WV, native Connie Young came in at 20:57-third for the women and 49th overall.

Many thanks to the great folks that made today's coverage a little easier-Eddie, Bob Tate, Bill Stewart, Danny Wells, Mark Courtney, Christine Farris Morris, and the rest of the fine folks who comprise the race committee. Also thanks to Verizon to sponsoring Friday night's pasta dinner, Sport Mart for sponsoring Friday night's runner's clinic, and to Bert Wolfe Ford, Tyler Mountain Water, The City of Charleston, Aventis, Acordia, and the Charleston Gazette, as well as Verizon and Sport Mart for sponsoring the race. It's the combined efforts of all of these dedicated volunteers that make the Charleston Distance Run "America's Fifteen Miler."