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Saturday, September 28, 2002 -- Parkersburg, WV
Pepsi Volcano Days 5K (iPO Event Id#: 4836)
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] [2001 Race Results]

Race Start
Off and running in Mountwood Park
The Second Annual Pepsi Volcano Days 5k happened on a cool, damp morning, with the mist rolling off the lake and over the course at picturesque Mountwood Park. As was the case last year, the proceeds of the race are going to charity. Seventy-six runners and walkers and their cheering sections came out in support of the Platelet Disorders Support Association, an organization that is near and dear to race director Chris Dower and his family.

The trail was a sort of "multi-media" event itself, going from an asphalt paved road, to a grass trail, to gravel, back to pavement. The cross-country trail circled the lake at Mountwood Park, crossing the dam that created the lake, and competitors finished just about a hundred yards from where they started.

Little Hocking, Ohio, claimed bragging rights today in the 5k run, with its hometown boy Randy Gibbs, 32, finishing in 18:21. That may seem slow for some races, but that is just how challenging this course is!

Race Pic
Putting in a little trail work
Dave Ferrell of Parkersburg, 18, after some talk that he planned to win the race, settled for second at 18:39. And wrapping up the top three, Josh Weekley of West Union, WV, finished with a time of 18:45. (Weekley also happened to win the door prize almost everyone coveted, the gorgeous black and gray hooded Mountain Dew sweatshirt!)

For the women, Leslie Thomas, 44, came in first with a time of 24:32. Following about a minute and a quarter behind her was Tonya Johns, 29, of Whipple, Ohio, who came in at 25:45. Rounding out the women's top three was Diana Hudkins, 28, of Parkersburg. She finished up at 26:56.

The walking competition was also fierce and in first place was Fred Detwyler, who finished with a time o f 31:49. Coming in behind him was Terry "The Legend" Whitecotton of Wheeling, finishing with a time of 33:23. And just behind him was Mark Rooper of Scott Depot, West Virginia, with a time of 33:34.

While the results were tabulated, Chris Dower gave out all kinds of great prizes everything from Pepsi-product gear to gift certificates for gasoline, movies, and food. Almost no one but me, and the woman standing beside me, went home empty-handed. And she wound up with a trophy, so it wasn't too bad at all.

Race Pic
Randy Gibbs takes the win
The funds from this year's race are going to PDSA, and are more specifically intended for efforts regarding ITP, or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, also known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura, which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the platelets in the bloodstream. The platelets are marked as foreign by the immune system and eliminated in the spleen and sometimes, the liver.

This hits close to home for the race director, as his son Alex has the disorder, and he and his family are active in the PDSA. For more information, you can visit www.psda.org, or call (877) 528-3538. Several of the families who came out today have been affected by the disease so the efforts of all the runners and walkers were greatly appreciated!

Special thanks to all of the sponsors of the race Pepsi, Taco Bell, 102.7 The River, West Virginia Credit Union, Dairy Queen, Mineral Wells Chiropractic, and Saint Joseph's Hospital. Also, special thanks to Chris Dower, Craig Pyles, Cynthia Gibbs, and all the volunteers who made the race a success!