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Saturday, September 21, 2002 -- Scottdale, PA
Scottdale Fall Festival 5K (iPO Event Id#: 5153)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [2000 Event coverage]

Race Start
A crowded start in Scottdale
The threat of rain, and a few actual showers, couldn't keep a great group of runners and walkers from coming out to the Scottdale Fall Festival 5K. But throughout the race the clouds held their moisture and the weather was ideal for some great racing, or just a great morning of getting out and stretching the legs.

Stretching their legs the furthest the fastest was a group of young guns giving Uniontown's thirty-something running veteran Eddie Filcheck everything he could handle.

Leading the charge for the first half of this out-and-back race was a Scottdale local, 16-year-old Steve Imel. Behind this high school junior was a group consisting of Filcheck, 13-year-old Jeff Palya, and 15-year-old Kenny Miller.

Race Pic
Come on, Dad, can't this thing go any faster...
After a mile of trying to keep pace with Imel, the Frazier High School freshmen, Miller, dropped back to leave Filcheck and Palya to chase for the lead.

At the halfway mark Palya, just an 8th grader at Laurel Highlands Junior High, made his move. After pulling away from Filcheck he soon closed the gap on Imel. By the two-mile mark it was Palya leading the charge to the finish.

There would be no changes up front as they raced the final mile to the finish. The barely-a-teenager Palya took the win at 17:20 followed by Imel at 17:29. Filcheck coasted in for third at 17:42 while Miller held on to fourth overall at 18:19.

Race Pic
Grinding it out for the USMC
On the women's side of the 5K run field, it was an impressive performance by girls no younger than 40. Topping the class was Perryopolis's Darsie Lonce. She really didn't know she was in first until the turnaround, but a race to the finish with her husband Daniel Lonce was all the motivation she needed.

Her finishing time of 21:33 meant a first overall for the women, and a rare defeat of her husband by just 11 seconds. It seems that she's returning to form after taking 12-years off from running, to raise a family, before lacing up again this past January.

The other ladies to reach the podium where Paula Bossart (22:22), of Greensburg, and Rita Cooper (22:37), also from Greensburg.

Race Pic
Watch those feet, it is a race walk
There were no big surprises in the 5K walk as familiar faces took the tape at the finish. First for the men and first overall was Penn Hills' Steve Bence at 26:44. For the women it was Fredericktown's Kathy Paes, who finished fourth overall.

As everyone made their way to the finish it was time to enjoy a nice spread of refreshments. Everything including drinks, fruit, pizza, and subs was on hand, and there was plenty of it. With the locals coming out to help monitor the streets and volunteer their time, it was no wonder the the Scottsdale Fall Festival was off to another great start.