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Saturday, June 2, 2007 -- Philippi, WV / Court House Bandstand
The Blue and Gray 5K (iPO Event Id#: 10069)

2007: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2005] [2006]

Article by Julie Black with photos by Maria af Rolen

Blue/Gray 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
Blue/Gray 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
Philippi was the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861. In commemoration of this historic battle, the people of Philippi, West Virginia hold the annual Blue and Gray Reunion every year.

During the weekend-long celebration the town-folk dress in clothes from the Civil War era. People of all ages walk the streets in period clothing such as Union and Rebel uniforms. One might see a hoop dress or two, complete with lovely spring bonnet.

There was much to be seen and tasted at the fair. Homemade ice cream, funnel cakes, and kettle corn were among the top choices of the day. Tents dawned with arts and crafts for sale lined Main Street. Re-enactors used authentic tools for demonstration to educate onlookers, and get their hands dirty.

Ben Bolock photo by Maria af Rolen
Ben Bolock photo by Maria af Rolen
The race itself snaked up, down, and around the streets of historic Philippi. The course took racers on a trek through the town's most noticeable attraction, its covered bridge. Built in 1852 and best known of the covered bridges that spawn West Virginia, Philippi's bridge is the only remaining "double barreled" covered bridge on a U.S. Highway.

With a flash of June heat and humidity, more than one race participant remarked that it was, "Hot as heck." Still, race director Alice Tenney couldn't have been happier. With over 130 racers lined up and willing it's easy to see why.

The top three overall were close in age and all from Philippi. The advantage of having the home-turf prevailed. Ben Bolock finished 12 seconds ahead of David McCollam for the overall win in 15:40. Bolock broke the 1999 course record by 5 seconds. It was quite a feat on a sweltering, summer day. JR Layster rounded out the top Philippi three in 17:15.

Blue/Gray 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
Blue/Gray 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
Katie Wolpert of Belington, WV kicked it in at 18:14 earning herself a 6th overall spot and the women's 1st place prize. Nicole Tingeler of Grafton, WV claimed 2nd for the women in 21:23. Meghen Shepherd (22:34), of Bridgeport, WV crossed in 3rd.

Ed Thurman of Shelby, Ohio cruised on the course as the 1st walker with a time of 34:30. Ernest Doll of Pennsboro, WV (36:21), and familiar face, Marty Owens, also of Pennsboro (38:28) topped off 2nd and 3rd in the 5K walk.

iPlayOutside is proud to be a part of this event from its beginnings in 1999. Attracting over 100 plus racers, this event seems to age like fine wine. Surrounded by history and steeped in festival fun, it only promises to become a long-standing tradition with areas runners and walkers alike.