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Saturday, June 22, 2002 -- Huntington, WV
2nd Annual W.V. Birthday Celebration (iPO Event Id#: 4992)
Story and photos by Ariana Kincaid

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Race Start
Celebrating WV's Birthday with a 5K
The Second Annual West Virginia Day 5k Run was a roaring success, with over 80 runners making an appearance, along with puppetry while the results were being tabulated, and singing and dancing children after all was said and done. In addition to the obligatory water and fresh fruit, there was a birthday cake for our great state, popcorn, and free cherry Sno-Cones, just for the asking! You could also register to vote! The race started with a shot at 9:30am although the later start probably got more folks out, it also made the heat and humidity a factor in the race!

Not only was the day a special one for John Sloan because of all the festivities, but the 19-year-old finished in 18:18, giving him the win, his first-ever overall win as a matter of fact! He said he used his "mental toughness" to make it through, because between the heat and the lack of a pacer, he wasn't running as fast as he could. He said although he wasn't particularly satisfied with his time, he was glad to have his first win.

Race Pic
Running the scenic streets around Ritter Park
First female finisher was a familiar name and face, Kelly McGraw, 30. She completed the race 9th overall, and with a time of 20:07. First Male Masters finisher was Jerry Bostic, with a time of 19:27. At 40, Jerry was also the third overall finisher. First Female Masters finisher was Sue D'Auria, at 24:52, and she finished 37th overall. These top four finishers received beautiful blue glass vases to mark their achievement. The top categorical finishers received medals for their efforts.

Also competing in the race were several folks that have become well-known to many of us. Local celebrity and WSAZ television weatherman Adam Joseph, who finished third in his category (Male 20-24) with a time of 21:09, ensured the television coverage that all the races and runners deserve!

Race Pic
Now that sure was fun!
And Kelly Castleberry, the new race director for the Charleston Distance Run, came in second in the 35-39 category with a time of 21:55. As he's been doing at many of the races, he talked about many of the improvements planned for the CDR (finisher's medals, for one), and handed out many, many applications for the 30th running of the CDR and the 10th running of the accompanying 5k. He's gotta be the hardest working man in the racing business!

This Second Annual "West Virginia Day in the Park" was also a benefit for the Harris River Front Beautification Project. Special thanks (and a cherry Sno-Cone toast!) go out to several local political candidates, Dick's Sporting Goods, Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, West Virginia-American Water Company, Huntington Roadrunners Club, and race organizer Joyce Holland and all of her fine race volunteers!