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Saturday, July 16, 2005 -- Morgantown, WV
Defenders DASH 5K (iPO Event Id#: 7020)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

Photo by Julie Black
You don't get better support for your 5K than these guys
The Monongalia County Deputy Sheriff's Association and the 229th Engineer Team of Kingwood, West Virginia presented their first annual 5K Run and Walk in front of the court house of Morgantown, WV. With the FBI, local National Guard, Morgantown Police and Fire Department, SERJ Professional Timing, live music of Professor Mike and more, this event is sure to grow and grow in the future.

Also on the scene at Ruby McQuain Memorial Riverfront Park, the setting for the race finish was the Monongalia County Sheriff's Dept., SWAT Team (Members & Vehicle), Bomb Dog (Gunner), Crime Scene Unit, D.A.R.E., and Homeland Security.

Photo by Julie Black
Keith Hammack of King George, VA, stationed in Peru
The race director and crew had many volunteers, and local supporters. The night was humid, and town was happening. The new 5K started at the Morgantown Court House Square, where a local band played as the runners and walkers stretched their legs and conversed. The 3.1-mile course headed down high street, out and around area neighborhoods which included a "surprise" hill, and then back toward the river for a flat finish on the rail-trail. SERJ and crew waited on the other side of the Deckers Creek former railroad bridge.

Winner of the 2005 Run for Men's Health 5K, and the 2004 26th Annual Monongalia Valley Bank Fairmont 10K, local Morgantown runner Will Hunter, proved that on this hot day he was ready to be in front again. "It was really, really hot out there. Too hot." replied Hunter after breaking the tape. His 1st place time was 17:44.

Photo by Julie Black
Gandy & Monroe battle for 2nd
There was a serious battle to the end for second place. As Ben Gandy's feet began to pound the bridge close to the finish, Dan Monroe began to breathe down his neck and the 5K suddenly turned into an instant 50-yard dash. Monroe and Gandy kicked into a full sprint, heel to toe. Gandy edged Monroe by one second, snatching second with a time of 19:15, Monroe with 19:16 finished a very respectable third.

All the way from Arlington, Virginia, Kristin Donley (23:59), finished first overall for the ladies and 17th overall in the 5K. Patty Wagner of Buckhannon, WV grabbed second, with Jennifer Alastanus of Bridgeport, WV in third.

Photo by Julie Black
Professor Mike plays outside
When it was over it was time for live music, food, and fun. Folks stuck around to enjoy the riverfront festivities and raffle prizes. Prizes included a Canaan Valley Resort 2 Day / 2 Night Ski Package, 2 rounds of golf at Tygart Lake GC, 2 rounds of golf, at Preston County Country Club, 18 holes of golf from Golf USA Simulator.

The raffles also included many dinner for two gift certificates at different area restaurants, and a number of movie for two gift certificates. Thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, and others who made this event a success. We look forward to this 5K's return in 2006.