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Saturday, August 16, 2003 -- Barton, MD
6th Annual Party in the Park 5K (iPO Event Id#: 5765)
Story and photos by Tara Struyk

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

Race Pic
Showing their colors at Barton's Party in the Park 5K
The tiny Maryland town of Barton offered a warm, sunny morning bright and early on Saturday. Perfect for the fine group of runners who gathered for the 5th annual Party in the Park 5k.

The race set off at 8 a.m. sharp, and perhaps it was the early hour, but this iPlayOutside photographer had a very camera-conscious group of runners to contend with on this morning.

Some runners and walkers lowered their gazes and hustled to the opposite end of the road, while others flexed and waved for the camera. "An eight-by-ten glossy would be nice!" one runner called out as he passed. I hadn't gotten his picture.

Race Pic
Camera shy? ... Not!
Of course, those leading the race were running much too hard to be concerned with appearances. Brad Rippey, 37, grabbed an early lead heading out onto Rt. 36 and had widened the gap considerably by the time he passed again on his way to the finish line. He took first place honors in 17:14.

Second place went to eighteen-year-old Sid Bittinger. The Frostburg State sophomore ran much of the race on his own, but placed well ahead of the third place finisher in 17:38. Paul Smartschan, 24, ran 18:17 to take third place.

The women's race was led start to finish by thirty-eight-year-old Maureen Hall. She sprinted through the line, clocking a finishing time of 19:28.

Race Pic
Taking the family out for a moring in the park
Westmar High School standout, Jennifer Patton, was second in 20:17. Paula Bridges, 37, wasn't far behind, finishing third in 20:33 for third.

The race was wrapped up only half an hour after it had started, letting a line of giant coal trucks continue on their way down the highway.

The runners were not in any hurry as they gathered in front of the town hall for post-race refreshments and awards. There was no reason to rush; they had finished their racing for the day, bright and early.