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Thursday, July 4, 2002 -- Morgantown, WV
Spirit & Breath Challenge 10K (MAGP #4) (iPO Event Id#: 4907)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10]

Race Start
Anticipation at the starting line
As a visiting runner from Pittsburgh commented, "They should have started this one at 7:00am!" Why? Because this notoriously hot race was once again blistering by the time the 9:00am start rolled around. By 10:30am, the start time for the One Mile Run, it was decided to shorten the course considerably for the safety of the many young kids that participate. Whatever the temps were, several water stops provided plenty of fluids and kept the top racers pounding the pavement over 5K and 10K distances.

The featured event, the 10K, was a demanding course that took runners on a tour of BOPARC (Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners of Morgantown) facilities. As with all the races, along with awards and registration, it started and finished in White Park. From there it was a long and skinny loop course out to Marilla Park, before changing directions and heading back for the finish.

Kids Race
Putting the fun in the heat-shortened mile
Seemingly unaffected by the heat and hills was recent West Virginia University graduate, and track team alumnus, James Lander. He tore through the course in a time of 32:39, the fastest 10K time since at least 1998 (iPlayOutside's records only go back to 1999). The next finisher wasn't seen for another three minutes.

With Lander going out so fast, and with the 5K runners starting along with those in the 10K, you might have mistaken him for a 5K participant. That is exactly what Mark Neal thought as he battled with Ed Frohnapfel and Derek Clark. What Neal thought was a fight for first was actually only deciding runner-up honors.

The race behind Lander began with Morgantown's Derek Clark getting off to a fast start followed by Neal then Frohnapfel. Frohnapfel, also from Morgantown, spent the first two miles closing the gap to pull even with Neal. The two raced together to close on Clark and eventually overtake him.

5K Women's Winner
Kayleigh Davis makes the deciding move in the 5K
Neal, in town visiting with his wife from Rochester, MI, made his final move late in the race as he took second with a time of 35:39. Frohnapfel and Clark followed at 35:57 and 36:31, respectively.

Rounding out the top five was the first overall female and defending women's champion, Heather Bury, with a time of 38:19. Making Bury work for the win was Neal's wife, who is originally from Morgantown, Laura Murphy. Murphy finished in seventh overall with at time of 39:43. Julie Warner took third place honors with time of 45:12.

At the 5K distance defending champion E.J. Linger fell short of a repeat as his 18:19 was only good enough for second. Patrick Reagan, a youngster from Masontown, PA spoiled his bid and took the win at 17:59. Rounding out the top three was Connellsville's Brad Herrington (19:49).

Walk Winner
Terry Horn walks his way to victory
The women's 5K came down to the final stretch and a trio of Morgantown girls. Kayleigh Davis started an early kick that brought no response from Meredith Fotta or Lara Stone. Davis took the win at 23:02 followed by Fotta and Stone, respectively, both at 23:21.

In the 5K race walk is was an all Pennsylvania affair atop the podium. The men's winner, and defending champion, was Aleppo's Terry Horn with a dominating time of 29:46. The first woman, and finishing fourth overall, was Chambersburg's Merrilynn Kessler at 38:11.

The final event of the afternoon was the One Mile Run. But due to all the youngsters participating, and the oppressive heat, it was reduced to something more along the lines of a One-third Mile Run. Soon after this event everyone moved into the cool confines of the skating rink for awards and a few more cool refreshments.