Share |

Sunday, August 1, 1999 -- Morgantown
Gene's Run For Special Olympics
Story & photos by Julie Bertsch

[Coverage/Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Walk Results]

Dennis Pierson
Dennis Pierson is one happy character in the last stretch
In the running for 12 years and still going strong, the Gene's Run for Special Olympics was a special event indeed. Over 160 runners came out in the evening heat to run the streets of Morgantown. Spectators lined the streets, sitting in their chairs, on their porch swings, and even on curbs to watch the 4 mile race. The course route was through the neighborhood of South Park which included some hills and lots of 90 degree turns, into the woods of White Park, and then back into South Park to finish in front of where else, but the infamous, Gene's Place. Despite the high heat and humidity, everyone was in high spirits as the they lined up at the starting line. The bullhorn was sounded and suddenly, a flood of running shoes hit the hot pavement.

Amy Massey
Amy Massey keeps it up near the end
Most runners after the race were heard saying, "Who was that guy in the front? Who was that man in the orange shorts?" Which is just about all you could see, a flash of orange, as Kevin Williams, winner of the Mountain State Classic 10K in Parkersburg, took his lead into the 2nd mile of the race. "I could hear footsteps for the first 2 1/2 miles," said Williams, "but then I managed to pull away." Williams finished with an the Overall Top time of 20:58. "He broke away after a mile or so and just stayed up there." said 4th overall Kenny Beerbower, "The chasers lost me at about 2 miles into it." The chasers included Ed Frohnapfel (21:37), who took 2nd place Overall this year and in 1998. Taking 3rd Overall last year, Brad Herrington took it again in 99' with a 21:46.

WVOutside's Lew McGrath and Don Parks
Even WVOutside came out to compete... against each other!
In between qualifying for the Olympic trials in the Steeple Chase, and running for ADDIDAS, Heather Bury manages to get in a race or two, around town. As the 1st Place Finisher of the 5K Run for M.S. in Kingwood, Bury is no stranger to the running competition in West Virginia. On this day, however, she did not take the Overall 1st spot, but she did finish 7th Overall, and as the 1st Woman with a time of 22:45. Nearly 2 minutes behind Bury, Erin O'Reilly (24:38), kept her own pace to finish 2nd for the women and 13th in the whole race. Julie Warner (26:32) received 3rd Place Overall for the Women's category, respectively.

The Gene's Crew
Martha Price, Mr. Price, and friend
The crew at Gene's place made sure there was plenty of water and "other" beverages for the runners to enjoy at post-race time during the awards ceremony. Lots of people won things from a beautiful bracelet, a bike helmet from Whitetail Bicycles, and even a bag from Runner's World! No, it's not "Cheer's", but this is certainly the place where everybody knows your name... Gene's Place. Special thanks goes out to the Special Olympians who helped out, Nicholas Johnson, Cliff Linkous, and Ralph LaGatta. Also, thank you Martha Price and the whole staff at Gene's. They have helped to raise money for the Special Olympics for many years. We'll be ready to do it all again at the 14th Annual Gene's Run for Special Olympics in 2000!