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Saturday, September 4, 2004 -- Charleston, WV
Charleston Distance Run (iPO Event Id#: 6103)
Story & photos by Ariana Kincaid

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [15M Overall] [15M WC/Class/Teams/Relay] [5K Overall] [5K Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [More Photos]
Event Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]

Distance Run
Starting the race in Charleston
America's 15 Mile and 5K Race, The Charleston Distance Run offered a challenging scenic course taking racers through downtown, through beautiful hillside neighborhoods, around the West Virginia Capitol, and along the city's riverfront.

The 32nd Annual Charleston Distance Run on September 4, 2004, was marked by several firsts: the first year for a new race director, David Fenwick; the first year for the Relay Event (in which three runners divide the 15 mile course into 6-, 5-, and 4-mile legs); and both the overall winner and first West Virginia finishers were first-time Distance Run competitors. What a day for all of those firsts! The morning started off perfect for a run, but soon turned hot and sunny along the flat streets of downtown Charleston, as runners broiled their way to Laidley Field.

The Kenyans finish
Douglas Momanyi, 23, of Kenya by way of West Chester, PA, finished the Distance Run five minutes off the record with a time of 1:17:08, which works out to a 5:08 pace. Joseah Matui, 27, a Kenyan who also trains in West Chester, PA, finished second with a time of 1:17:28, which works out to less than 2 seconds per mile behind the winner. And in third place with a time of 1:17:53 was Joseph Kamau, 34, of Hamilton, Ontario.

Eighth overall was 25-year-old David McCollam, a Charleston, WV native, and the first West Virginia finisher. He pulled into Laidley with the very respectable time of 1:22:15.

Then the women came pouring in 20th, 22nd, and 24th places for the top three women. The first female finisher was 19-year-old Maria Buseinei, a Kenyan who trains in West Chester, PA, with a time of 1:33:59 And less than two minutes behind Maria was Tammy Slusser, 39, of Monroeville, PA, with a time of 1:35:58. Wrapping up third place was Susan Graham-Gray, 36, with a time of 1:37:16. Her hometown is Greencastle, PA, which makes it a "Yankee Sweep" of the top three spots for both the men and the women.

Waving to fans
In the wheelchair competition, the hand-pedaled tricycle of Marshall Edwards, 53, of Prestonsburg, KY, brought him home with a time of 1:14:05 a 4:56 pace! Second place went to Marc Van Rafelghem, 48, of West Chester, OH. He propelled his chair across the finish line in just under two hours--1:58:45.

In the first-ever Charleston Distance Run Relay, the mixed relay was won by CAMC, with a time of 1:52:22; the men's relay was won by Warner for Governor with a time of 2:03:56; and the women's relay was won by the Red Hots, at 2:16:07. Also, in case you were wondering who that was running the course wearing a mask which looked strikingly like the Republican candidate for President, that was Shawn Chillag, a West Virginian who now lives in Columbia, SC and I'm betting his tongue was firmly in cheek!

A happy racer
In the 5k, Jason Pyles of Huntington, WV finished with a time of 16:23, followed by Brooks Crislip of Charleston with a time of 16:55. Daniel Campbell of Mount Gilead, OH finished third. His time was 17:30. The women were led by Spencer, WV native Stephanie Eastman, 21, who came in with a time of 19:20. Locally-known Connie Young, of Hurricane, came in 37th overall with a time of 21:12. And all the way from New Windsor, New York, Kathi Workman finished 41st overall with a time of 21:19.

Special thanks to all of the great folks who made this year's Distance Run and 5k successes yet again David Fenwick, Christy Morris, Alberto Salazar, Mark Courtney of Runner's High, and the hundreds of volunteers and sponsor that make the race happen.