Share |

Saturday, September 1, 2001 -- Harrisburg, PA
Legg Mason for Jakes Sake 5K (iPO Event Id#: 4630)
Story and photos by Neil Riemenschneider

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

Race Pic
The leaders battle for position
Harrisburg, PA is a great place to lace 'em up and race. The majority of the races held here use City Island as their base for registration, the start, the finish and the awards ceremony. City Island is closed to vehicle traffic and has mini golf, a train ride, a small beach, shops, nice spots to eat and is home for the Harrisburg Senators who are a AA minor league baseball team. Additionally, the events that use City Island cross the majestic Susquehanna River twice and use the paved bike path along the river. The pedestrian bridge that is utilized is the Walnut Street Bridge, which was constructed in 1888 and is the oldest metal span bridge in the United States. Hey, this is critical information that may appear on "Who Wants To Be Millionaire" or "Jeopardy."

The Legg Mason for Jake's Sake 5K did all of the above along with benefiting the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Institute. Numerous volunteers turned out to assist in this event and were seen everywhere in their bright red volunteer t-shirts.

And whenever money is awarded to the winners, you can expect a first rate field. Prize money of $250 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third for both males and females ensured that some fast times were going to be run.

As the gun sounded, Mike Criaghead, Matthew Wagoner and returning champ Randy Haas quickly separated themselves from the pack and within two minute of running had gapped the entire field. Craighead and Wagoner stayed together with Haas hanging back a few strides.

There was a developing situation as the 3 hit the Walnut Street Bridge with a straight shot to the finish with 300 yards to go. Said Craighead, " When I hit the bridge, I knew I had to take off as both Randy and Matt have great kicks." The move paid off as Craighead took first stopping the clock at 15:12.

"I have a lot of respect for Matt and Randy as they are both tough runners. Randy has won this race many times and I know he wasn't as sharp as he usually is," stated the Inside Track Racing Team member. "The competition was great and the cash prizes were a good incentive to run hard."

Wagoner took second in 15:17 while Haas, who had taken second with 100 yards to go, pulled his hamstring and hobbled in for third in 15:50.

The women's field saw Connie Buckwalter pull away from Wendy Nelson-Barrett early in the race and finish a remarkable 4th overall in 17:51. "Wendy and I both went out hard and even though I got a lead I was always aware that she was close by the entire race. Wendy is just so versatile that I knew I couldn't let down at anytime," explained the Brooks runner. Interestingly, both Buckwalter and Craighead work at Lancaster General Hospital. That is critical information.

Nelson, a 12th grade English teacher, took second and was pleased with her 18:12 finish time, as it is the fastest she's run since having a baby. Taking third was Lydia Becker in 19:27.

Finishing as top masters were Janet Jones in 20:45 and someone by the name of Neal Riemenschneidier in 18:48.

After the race, the 207 finishers feasted on bagels, drinks, and all kinds of snacks (it was worth it just to get a bag of Doritos!) while the awards ceremony was prompt and efficient. The volunteers did a great job and everyone left with a good feeling knowing they had helped with a great cause.