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Saturday, June 7, 2003 -- Cairo, WV
25th Annual North Bend Ridge Runner Races (iPO Event Id#: 5271)
Story and results by Joe Corra and the River City Runners Club

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[1998 Coverage] [1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage] [2001 Coverage] [2002 Results]

The seemingly never ending rain didn't deter the 101 runners who came to try the course at the Ridge Runner Marathon this year. It was a downpour at the 5:00 AM early start, but it was rain-free by the time they arrived back in North Bend State Park, 26.2 Miles later.

This race brings runners from all over the country to get their West Virginia marathon for the 50 State's award. They have many running their second or even third time. All finishers seemed to be in a good humor afterwards with many complementing the new Race Director, Nick Murray, on a well organized event.

When Mount Gilead, Ohio's, Dan Campbell (3:20:21) resumed running last year after a 15 year hiatus, little did he know he would win a marathon. That's what happened this Saturday at the Ridge Runner in Cairo, WV.

Dan arrived at the 25th annual running of this event wanting to better his performance at The Pittsburgh Marathon one month ago. When he departed, he was the the 2003 Champion, though his time was nine minutes slower than Pittsburgh.

"I began to feel bad around twenty miles" Dan said. Which ironically, is the only flat part of this race that has seven climbs of 250-300 feet in altitude to justify Runners World's claim as "one of the ten toughest marathons in the U.S."

Second Place was Keon Lee (3:30:17) of Rome, GA and Patrick Mills (3:31:30) of Champian, IL followed for Third Place.

Tracy Stewart (3:31:46) of Colorado Springs, CO, was the Womens winner coming in just a few seconds behind the third male runner for the fastest women's in several years. It just might be the Women's course record.

Gail Bechard (3:39:21) of Summerfield, NC was the Second Woman Marathoner followed by Rebecca Wright (3:46:23) Marlborough, CT.

The Ten Mile Race had a last minute course change, brought about by high water that prevented travel on Bonds Creek Road. Leesburg Virginia's Martha Cammack was the Women's winner running a smooth 1:10:28.

She was followed by Stacy Shoaf (1:16:48) of Winston Salem, North Carolina and Parkersburg, West Virginia's Diana Hudkins (1:17:02).

Parkersburg was also the home of the Men's winner Ryan Johnson (1:03:23), who came in with a three minute lead over Aaron Best (1:05:22) of Henderson, Tennessee followed by Third Place, Larry Cassady (1:05:56) of Marietta, Ohio.