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Friday, May 15, 2009 -- Charleston, WV / Magic Island/ Kanawha Blvd
Sundown Showdown Run & Walk - Spring/Summer Speed Series #2 (iPO Event Id#: 11996)

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

Magic Island, a Perfect Place to Race

Article and photos by J.R. Petsko

Sundown Showdown Photo by J.R. Petsko
See the Race Photos
Friday night was just about as nice as it could possibly be for a run in downtown Charleston, West Virginia. After what seemed like a month of rain, the sun came out and temperatures were in the mid 70's for the Sundown Showdown Run & Walk. The race was also round #2 of the four events in the "Speed Series".

Being from Morgantown, I had never been to Magic Island, where the race was held.

At first I thought it was some kind of children's theme park, however, I was soon educated about the location shortly after showing up for the race. Magic Island was made with the dirt that was dredged from the bottom of the Kanawha River. You would have never imagined that now-a-days, what with all of the green grass and benches. Situated at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers, the park features a walk/run track, sand volleyball courts, and picnic areas. It's just about the perfect setting for a running race if you ask me.

The women were the first to try their luck at the 2 mile long course. From the starting gun it was Sami Harris out front. Harris was looking to improve on her second place finish in round number one of the series. The 14 & under runner took her lead seconds into the race and never looked back. Harris completed her wire to wire win in a time of 12:10.

Sundown Showdown Photo by J.R. Petsko
See the Race Photos
In second was Connie Young who crossed the line in 13:30. Jessica Groves who finished third in round number ones race also took home third place Friday with a time of 13:37. Fourth was Jennifer Ginsberg in 13:47 and Roxane Carte finished fifth just one second behind in 13:48.

For the Men, Marshall Spradling took the win just like he did at round one in the series. Spradling looked strong out on the course. His time of 10:34 gave him a comfortable lead over Lloyd Braun in second. Braun was also able to run a sub 11 minutes to miles finishing in 10:51.

Third was Mick Bias who crossed the line in 11:07. Fourth was Fred Jones in a time of 11:10 and was followed by Glenn Baldwin in fifth in 11:13.

It was so nice to spend a Friday evening at Magic Island as the sun dropped. I can't wait for this race again next year!