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Saturday, July 12, 2003 -- Bridgeport, WV
Benedum Festival 5K (CARS #7) (iPO Event Id#: 5537)
Story and photos by Tara Struyk

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

Race Start
Racing through Bridgeport
Bridgeport, West Virginia, was at its best Saturday morning, as over 130 runners and walkers gathered for the annual Benedum Festival 5K Run, the 7th leg of the Clarksburg Area Race Series. Despite the hot sun and rising humidity, the top finishers posted considerably faster finish times than in previous years.

The gun went off at 8:30 a.m. sharp, and a large pack of runners streamed out of the parking lot of Bridgeport High School. The challenging course of rolling hills made its way through the quiet, residential streets of Bridgeport, led by a police escort and cheered on along the way by dozens of local spectators.

Race Pic
Pumped for a big finish
In the men's race, Scott Smith, 21, of Clarksburg pulled away from Ron Weist, 32, in the last kilometer to finish in 16:32 to Weist's 16:37 effort.

Murshid Latif, 44, was third in 17:06, despite his hard-won fourth-place effort at the Twilight 5-Mile Trail Run in Morgantown the previous evening. The time was a full minute faster than his time on the course in 2001.

In the women's race, the top three finishers were spread out from the start, leaving more than a thirty-second space between each woman.

Race Pic
Finishing with the sun at your back
Ashely Wilson, 20, of Washington, Pennsylvania, was the first female finisher and placed a respectable 25th overall in 20:57.

Morgantown's Nicole Dorinzi, 18, was second in 21:28, well ahead of 14-year-old Cara Browning of Clarksburg, who finished third in 22:07.

A variety of refreshments were served to thirsty finishers as they crossed the line. As the sun rose brighter in the late morning sky, runners gathered at the finish line to note their results, receive their awards and enjoy the rest of a picturesque Saturday morning.