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Saturday, May 18, 2002 -- Matewan, WV
Historic Matewan 5K Run (iPO Event Id#: 4869)
Story and photos by Ariana Kincaid

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Kids Race Participants]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [2000 Event Coverage]

Race Pic
Racing along the flood wall in Matewan
Thanks to the massive flood wall that protects downtown historic Matewan, it showed no signs of the recent flooding that hit Southern West Virginia. But registrants for the Historic Matewan 5K couldn't help but notice that they shared the lobby of the Matewan City Building with Red Cross Disaster Relief workers, and those seeking assistance.

Race director Dave Hatfield was tickled with the turnout, for despite the misty, windy weather and the recent devastation, he figured if he and another runner showed up, "we'd have a good turnout." Even winner Jared Smith said, "It was pretty miserable out there!" when asked about the weather.

All in all, nearly forty participated in the 5K and 17 kids participated in the kids' fun run, held in conjunction with festivities surrounding the 82nd Anniversary of the Battle of Matewan.

Race Pic
Jared Smith makes it look easy
The peculiarities of a coalfield town made crafting the course a challenge for the Tug Valley Road Runners Club ( In order to keep the trains that come through town on a regular basis from hindering the racers, the race started at the main entrance through the flood wall, looped through town twice, back to the start line, then followed the path outside the flood wall, under the railroad, out to the elementary school, then back through town for an almost loop to the finish line in front of the Matewan City Building. The effects of the recent flooding were most evident when outside the flood wall. Debris and branches along the riverbank, churned mud beside the path, and other debris were stark reminders of what Mother Nature can do.

Jared Smith of Julian (who also happens to be the assistant track coach at Scott High School) persevered despite the weather, bringing in the win at 16:58. Although, as he explained, "I just came out for a nice workout. The first mile was around five minutes, but I shut it off about the second mile and just ran it nice and easy." Adam Coon of Comfort came in second with a time of 17:42, and third place went to Dennis Fisher, in town with the Army National Guard, with a time of 18:02.

Kids Race Participants
Bring on the kids!
First place female was Katrina Blankenship of Justice, with a time of 23:28. Sherri Morgan-Ellison came in at 25:20, and hot on her heels was Kim Davis Smith, with a time of 25:27. Especially impressive were the three young girls who competed with the adults -- Katie and Casey Hatfield, both 11, and Karissa Blackburn, 9, all of Baisden. Although exhausted, each one crossed the finish line running. Way to go girls!

Special thanks go out to Jeannie Rivard, David Hatfield, Danny Elliott, Erik Eskew, Keith and Paula Blankenship, and the Matewan Rotarians, who provided much-needed refreshments after the race. Thanks also to the Matewan Visitors Center, Development Office, and Museum, which is likely the most educational place in Southern West Virginia in which to wait for race results!