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Saturday, August 21, 2004 -- Barton, MD
Party in the Park 5K (iPO Event Id#: 6459)
Story and photos by Heather Rau

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

Party in the Park
Rain you say? What rain?
Nothing stops a good party, including a lot of rain! The town of Barton, Maryland held their 7th annual 5K walk and run right in the midst of the morning precipitation without any delay. Their 8am start went off without a hitch and included 62 runners and walkers, all with smiles on their faces.

The rain didn't scare anyone away. All race participants were warmed up and ready to go. The race course is flat, traveling through town to just outside the city limits and back. This great little town holds their annual celebration to bring awareness to a beautiful place. The 5K is a fun race supported by the town's police, fire department and all residents. Many people braved the weather to line the streets and cheer the runners and walkers on.

Party in the Park
The women make their mark
Let's Mix It Up a Bit
For the first time in a long time, the overalls were staggered between the men and women. Seems that this 5K didn't have top 3 males, top 3 females, it was more like the top 5 runners in general. What do I mean? Well, read on... The fastest runner of the day was Steve Winters who crossed the line in 17:43. Full time Mom, part-time personal trainer, and runner Maureen Hall kicked it in at 2nd overall and 1st for the ladies in 18:59. Cory Smith (19:19), took 3rd overall and 2nd for the men while Lynn Bridges (19:37), finished 4th overall and 2nd for the women. Jen Patton (20:11) finished 5th overall and 3rd for the ladies.

Party in the Park
Rain or shine, happy times
Rain, Rain, Go Away...
The awards ceremony was held at the concession stand, which was a good thing. The hot chocolate and coffee couldn't be made quick enough. Amy quickly began to present the awards and thought she was in the clear of any more rain, when, well it started to fall and fall hard.

Unfortunately, shelter was scarce. If you didn't have an umbrella or a spot under the awning you were wet. Most people were able to find a dry spot and enjoyed their time. Thank you's were given to all participants, the race sponsors and the town's municipal support.

Party in the Park
Small town hospitality
Small Town, Big Pride
I spoke with Emily Hyde, a hairdresser at Evelyn's Beauty Salon and the sister of Evelyn. She has been a lifetime resident and estimated the towns population to be about 500 people. She spoke highly of the quiet, family feel Barton and of it's history. I enjoyed speaking to her and, as I walked around taking some pictures of the town's local sights, that was my impression.

The race directors, Amy and Tom Patton have been organizing the event for the past two years. Amy explained that the race is held purely for the fun of it. All money collected goes to the town and helping to make Party In The Park a success each year. "It brings people to the town for a fun race." said the Pattons. There's a parade and all day events at the ball park. Booths were being set up to sell hand crafted items and food concessions. A stage was set for performances and audience seats were just waiting to be filled.

For the Record...
I would recommend putting this race on your calendar. The residents of Barton really showed off their community despite the dreary conditions of the day.