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Thursday, November 22, 2001 -- Beckley, WV
25th Annual YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run (iPO Event Id#: 4698)
Story and photos by George Gannon

[Details] [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]
(As soon as we receive results, we'll pass them on to you.)
[1998 Coverage] [1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

David & Duane Dombek
Working up a Turkeyday appetite in Beckley
For the last 25 years, the streets of Beckley have been besieged by runners and walkers participating in the annual YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run. For 25 years, people have given up spending the holiday morning at home with family and friends to compete in one of the most grueling races in the state.

The 2001 event had over 100 competitors out to enjoy the warm weather and work up an appetite for some Thanksgiving turkey.

However, before anybody was going to sit down at a holiday table, they would have to navigate five miles of twisting streets and rolling hills.

As the gun sounded, Beckley native Tim Howard got out to an early lead. A lead he kept for most of the race. After leading the way for 4.9 miles, Howard made what he termed a "tactical error."

Tim Howard
Tim Howard settles for second
As he was nearing the end, he lost track of where the finish line was and made a slight misstep. At that point, Cabell-Midland track star Rick Kitching jumped in front and darted to the finish line.

Kitching pulled in one second ahead of Howard, finishing with times of 29:01 and 29:02 respectively.

Following the race, Kitching conceded that Howard "ran a great race," but he was not afraid to take advantage of his fellow racer's miscue.

"When I saw him look back, I knew I had him" said Kitching.

Taking his mistake in stride, Howard laughed off his error, saying that since this was his first race of the year, he was still "pretty happy."

Thomas Meadows (29:32) took the number three spot.

Race Pic
You don't have to run to enjoy the YMCA Run
For the women, Charleston's Marlene Moore crossed the finish line first in a time of 35:56. Familiar with the course's layout, she "took it easy uphill and picked it up going down" all the way to a first place finish.

Lori Hager (39:45) pulled in second and Cathy Swanson (40:07) rounded out the top three.

The iPlayOutside iron-man award goes to the venerable Mr. Eddie Boyd for competing in his 523rd race.

After the cool downs were run and the racers received there trophies, they headed to the dinner table, while dreams of YMCA Thanksgiving run number 26 danced in their heads.