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Saturday, July 13, 2002 -- New Martinsville, WV
Tad Fitzsimmons Memorial 5K Run/Walk (iPO Event Id#: 5095)
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]
[2000 Coverage] [2001 Coverage]

Race Pic
Starting at the finish in New Martinsville
Cloudy skies provided mild evening temperatures as the streets of New Martinsville filled with runners and walkers. It was the third running of the Tad Fitzsimmons Memorial 5K and everything was set for some fast competition and some great post-race celebrations.

This run and walk (the walkers actually out-number the runners) helps support the Tad Fitzsimmons Scholarship Fund. Tad lost his life in a car accident on June 24, 1999. He had a love of God, family, friends and community that has left a lasting impression on those who knew him. And the community continues to pay tribute with outstanding turnout for the annual event.

The racing (or evening stroll as it is for many) began at 6:00pm and crisscrossed through the flat streets of New Martinsville. Racing off the front and staying there was contingent of teenage runners.

Race Pic
Sprinting through the city streets
Eventually shedding the rest of the competition was Matt Quinet and Daniel Friedline. Down the final stretch Quinet proved to have the stronger kick as he took the win at 16:49 with Friedline following at 16:51 for second. Corey Baxter took third overall with a time of 17:13.

On the women's side it was Heather McDaniel pulling away early for a big win with a time of 21:24. In a close battle for second, Cindy Culley (23:04) came through ahead of Danielle Wassam (23:16).

The running coach from Alderson-Broaddus was on hand and was certainly glad to see his recruits doing well. Both Quinet and McDaniel are headed for AB in the fall to begin their collegiate careers.

Race Pic
Having fun at the kids race
The competition in the 5K walk was not so close as local "legend" Terry Whitecotton breezed to an easy victory at 31:58. On the women's side it was an equally dominating win for Darlene Burke (35:41).

As everyone made their way back to the finish at Bruce Park, a fantastic spaghetti dinner was waiting complete with all the fixings. Meanwhile, out in the grassy lawn of the park, the kids had some races of their own with everyone coming home a winner. Throw in some nice awards and a lot of random prizes and you have one great way to spend an evening.

A big thanks goes to race director Terry Greene and all the participants, sponsors and volunteers that once again made the Tad Fitzsimmons 5K a wonderful success. And 2003 is sure to be bigger and better than ever, so don't miss it!