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Sunday, May 26, 2002 -- Grafton, WV
Race to Remember 10K (iPO Event Id#: 4832)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [10K Overall] [10K by Class] [5K Walk]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]

Race to Remember
Racing to remember our fallen heroes
The first running of the Race to Remember was a wonderful success. The 10K course wasn't easy, but it only made toughing out the miles that much more of a tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. With the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton as the backdrop for the start and finish, it was the perfect place for a Memorial Day race.

The race start was interesting for two reasons. First, it was delayed as a train running through town was blocking the course just as everyone lined up for the 2:00pm start. Second, due to the nature of the figure-eight 10K run course and the abbreviated 5K walk course, the runners started on one side of the line with the walkers on the other. Luckily each group stayed to the right of the other or things could have been real interesting.

Race Start
After clearing the rails
the race begins
Once the train cleared and racing began, it was no surprise to see Fayetteville's 41-year-old Larry Taylor up at the front. But Josh Beck was in town with his fiance Jan Brigar after spending some time vacationing in Canaan Valley. This had the area folks wondering who was that guy with the funny tan keeping pace with Taylor.

It just so happens he's a 24-year-old duathlon specialist out of Carlisle, PA who was sporting a very nice cyclist's tan while racing without a shirt. He will be heading to the world duathlon championships later this year.

Beck grabbed the lead early with Taylor doing his best to chase him down. He kept it close through much of the race but Beck would eventually pull away, finishing first at 34:25. Taylor took second at 36:07 with the steady Murshid Latif taking third at 36:57.

Race Pic
Rounding the corner
for the second 5K
For the women it was youth prevailing again as 18-year-old Stephanie Hatfield took the win at 47:05. It wasn't until the fourth mile that Hatfield moved ahead of 39-year-old Delores Bonnell for the final time. Bonnell, who was surprised to learn she finished second at 48:23, said after the race, "I would have worked a little harder had I known I was racing for first!"

Taking the third spot for the ladies was none other than our overall winner's bride to be, Jan Brigar. She worked hard late in the race to pass fourth place finisher Debbie Goss (49:48) and finish not too far behind Bonnell. Brigar took home the third place trophy with a time of 48:41.

Race Pic
Grafton showed its colors on Memorial Day
In the 5K walk Parkersburg's 52-year-old John Elliott took up the lead early with some quick strides. But keeping Elliott honest the whole way was the trailing 63-year-old Marty Owings from Pennsboro. In the end Elliott took the overall win at 36:24. Owings time of 36:54 was plenty fast enough for a second overall finish and a first for the women.

Plenty of refreshments awaited all finishers as everyone enjoyed a great afternoon of racing. Special thanks go to the Grafton Police, Fire, and EMS departments for all their help. And let us not forget to give Grafton High's Coach Paul Martin a huge thanks for doing the timing, even after coming back from winning the girls state track meet the day before. Race director Jay Taylor certainly appreciated everyones help and participation.