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Sunday, June 2, 2002 -- Philippi, WV
The Blue and Gray 5K (iPO Event Id#: 5004)
Story and photos by Ariana Kincaid

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]
Past Event Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2001]

Blacksmith
Keeping the fire burning on a historic craft
The first clue that the Blue & Gray 5k Run in historic Philippi, West Virginia, isn't your average race is the spectators in authentically crafted Civil War-era costumes. The canvas tents that dot downtown Philippi, and the cannons that are fired as the runners cross the famous Covered Bridge also make for a unique competitive running experience. And despite being plagued by muggy weather, an uncooperative train (that stopped some runners for over three minutes), and less than observant motorists, the race was a huge success.

The race started behind the Barbour County Courthouse and the starting shot was fired at 8:30am. The first runners stayed close until after crossing the cement bridge. But as the runners came down the hill approaching the Covered Bridge, Ben Bolock, a twenty-year-old from Dillonvale, Ohio was in the lead, with Fayetteville's Larry Taylor following roughly 20 seconds behind in a race he has owned the past two years.

Race Pic
Leaving the covered bridge behind
When the dust settled, 41-year-old Taylor was bookended by two men less than half his age. Bolock finished at 16:09, followed by Taylor at 16:27 and Scott Smith, 20, of Terra Alta, at 16:33. But give Taylor some credit, the day before, he ran and won the Run with a Cop in Kanawha City with a time of 16:04.

Finishing first for the females was Kaitlin Grimm, a tiny 13-year-old from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a time of 19:28. Sara Walker, 26, of Morgantown finished with a time of 19:50. Walker was also bookended by runners half her age, as 13-year-old Jenna Fogg of Bridgeport finished with a time of 21:52 for third place.

Race Pic
Yes, the finish line is getting close
In all, there were 130 runners in downtown Philippi, mingling with a blacksmith, some Union soldiers (the Confederate soldiers were on the OTHER side of the Bridge), and other reenactors, including one woman hanging outside her canvas tent in her authentic Civil War era foundation garments! And although there were no horses to be seen, runners made sure to dodge the evidence of their presence at the Blue & Gray Reunion.

Special thanks to race director Cindy Kelley, Thad Kelley for the trophies, Philippi City Manager Karen Weaver and all the fine folks who came out to show their support for their own troops, the runners of the Blue & Gray Reunion 5K!