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Saturday, June 20, 2009 -- Fairmont, WV / Marion County Adult Ed Center
Run to Read Races (iPO Event Id#: 12070)

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

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Three Courses and Eleven Years Ago

Story and photos by Julie Black

Run to Read Photo by Julie Black
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"Wet-n-Wild West Virginia" should be the new state slogan thanks to this summer's wacky weather. If it sounds like it's an amusement park you'd be dead on, because it's been one heck of a June ride. Thunder and looming clouds at 6 am greeted me on my drive to Fairmont, WV. With the humidity hanging low, I wondered how Mother Nature would affect the races.

Offering up an early morning 15K, followed by a 5K Run/Walk and a 1.5 mile fun run, this event of 11-years wasn't going to go down that easily. Many racers are local and they love to run, plus giving to the Literacy Volunteers of Marion County is one way to give back to the community.

By start time (7:30 am), the number of participants swelled. Local law enforcement and volunteers were on the scene in abundance.

As the pace car took off, Josh Weekley, owner of Run, lead from start to finish by almost 3 minutes. "I felt terrible." said Josh after the event, but he still took 1st in 58:09. Every runner was feeling the pain of the humidity that persisted despite the torrential downpour.

Weekley recently finished 2nd overall in areas races such as the 2009 Cecil Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 2-mile run and the 2009 Cheat Fest 5K.

Run to Read Photo by Julie Black
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Heather Parks (sponsored by Saucony), was pushed by Florian Barbe for most of the 15K. He kept her in his sight for much of the race until the last few miles when Barbe passed her to win second overall with a time of 1:00:53. Parks's time was 1:01:42 earning her 3rd overall.

. . . Some perks for Parks:

Heather finished 35th overall and 20th US runner at this year's Boston Marathon. Her time of 2:52:45 was 7-minutes faster than her time in 2007. Locally, Parks finished 1st overall in her age group at the 2009 Cecil Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 10K and was the 2nd overall woman in the 2009 Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon. After the exciting race today she Facebooked, "The big toenail has finally come off. YAY!"

. . .

William Hunter finished 4th overall and snagged the 3rd overall male spot finishing 4 seconds behind Parks. Jackie Rzepecki followed for a very respectable 5th overall finish in 1:03:41.

Jen Sober (1:07:26), rounded out the top women's spots for 3rd.

When the 15K was over, the 5K got underway. Many of the 15K runners ran in the 5K as a cool-down.

Run to Read Photo by Julie Black
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I am happy to say that the sun came out for the 5K photos. The gracious spread afterwards is always a treat. Iva Marion, Jim Woolfitt, and a crew of many volunteers did a fabulous job as usual.

Don't forget to check out the sister race to this event, the 5th Annual Run to Read Half-Marathon on Saturday, January 9, 2010. Held at Prickett's Fort State Park in Fairmont, WV, this event is run a rail-trail. Gloves and knit hats go to the first 200 registrants.

For the Record:

It's always nice to get out from behind the desk and see the smiling faces of runners and walkers who remind you why you get up in the morning. Thanks for the jokes, the stories, the fun and all of the posing out there on the course. Most of all, thanks for the smiles.