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Sunday, March 15, 2009 -- Grafton, WV / Grafton High School
Grafton 5-Mile Run, 2-Mile Walk, Kids Run (iPO Event Id#: 11897)

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34 Years and Still Runnin'

Photos by Maria af Rolen with story by Jason Chastain.

Grafton 5M Photo by Maria af Rolen
Young runners hit the road
The Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP) Series ended its many year run in 2009. Grafton used to be the first race in the series. It also used to be a 4-mile run, but it's been expanded to a 5-miler for the past two years.

On Sunday, March 15, approximately 80 participants gathered at Grafton High School to run alongside the always picturesque Tygart River in the 34th annual event sponsored by Grafton City Hospital & Tygart Valley Rehab and Fitness.

A half mile kids run kicked off the morning with local speedster, Allison, taking the "gold". This was Allison's first race, and what a way to start her career! She said that she looks up to fellow athletes Mia Hamm and Erica Henderson.

Then it was time for the 5-mile runners and 2-mile walkers to take their mark. With temperatures in the high 40's, the weather was cool to race in. Runners ran a loop that encompassed two bridges and one mean hill. Just about everyone interviewed from the run said that the hill was difficult, yet rewarding to crest.

Several families took part in the race. Kevin, a young father, pushed his daughter in a jogging stroller. Cute as a button, she was pretty much unphased by all of the excitement as she cruised in her cushy hi-tech ride. Her mother ran solo.

Grafton 5M Photo by Maria af Rolen
Ready for the 5-Mile Run to start
Sterling Snyder of Preston High's 2009 graduating class had the fastest time of the day with a 27:05. He's competed at many WV local meets and AAA region competitions.

Derek Bolyard of Elkins, WV is a familiar face in the running community. He finished 10 seconds behind Snyder to claim second. Noah Brak of Canfield, Ohio took home third with a time of 27:41.

Jen Sober of McHenry, Maryland, tore it up in the 2008 MAGP Grand Prix Series last year. Sober finished as the first female in the 5-miler in 33:29.

Local runner, Nicole Tingler, crossed for second in 34:40. Another local from Grafton, Erin Roush, took third (35:32).

Rudy Vincent was the fastest male 2-miler walker (27:01), and Toni Derring (29:01) finished as the fasted female walker.

Awards were also given to the first overall male and female finishers from Taylor County Middle School and Grafton High. As always, proceeds went to the Grafton High School (GHS) Girls Track Club.