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Saturday, May 7, 2011 -- Kingwood, WV
Cheat River Festival 5K (iPO Event Id#: 13302)

2011: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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Watershed and Personal Renewal

Story and photos by Julie Black

Cheat Fest 5K photo by Julie Black
See more race photos.
In 1994 the Cheat River Festival and Friends of the Cheat (FOC) was formed as the result of a deep mine seal blow out that spilled millions of gallons of highly acidic drainage that colored Muddy Creek and the Cheat River bright orange, killing fish for miles downstream.

The 5K, paddling race, and festival proceeds all contribute to help the restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding natural qualities of the Cheat watershed.

Rain threatened the course on Saturday morning, as it often does this time of year. But the skies turned blue and by race end, the weather was downright springy. Butterflies fluttered river side, while bees buzzed and hummed along the course.

From the start, Brian Menzies of Fairmont Family Chiropractic trotted out to an early lead. But he couldn't hold it for the full 3.1 miles of road. Zach Heuscher ran past Menzies and stayed ahead to win the 5K run in 18:21.

Cheat Fest 5K photo by Julie Black
See more race photos.
"He burned past me." said Menzies. "I couldn't catch him." Menzies finished a respectable second with a time of 18:41. Michael Levy (19:37) crossed in third.

Lila Menzies, wife of Brian and also part of Fairmont Family Chiropractic, took home the first place female prize with a time of 23 minutes and 20 seconds.

In second for the women was Dani Martin (23:42), and third was Lydia Valeuta (23:46).

Sculpted ceramic bowls dyed with EnvironOxide, a pigment recovered from acid mine drainage streams, were awarded to the overall winners. Sculpted medallions made from the same dyed materials were given to age group winners.

More than 130 runners and walkers completed the 5K on the day, quite a few more than in 2010. The support was greatly appreciated!

Thank You 5K Sponsors:

    Preston County Country Club, Culligan, Road I.D.,

    Runners World Magazine, Mountaineer Area Rescue Group

    Kingwood Pharmacy, Book Exchange, WesBanco

    Alpine Lake Resort, Mettiki Coal, The Casteel Lawfirm

    Black Bear Burritos, HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness

    Fairmont Family Chiropractic, Old Colony Realtors