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Sunday, October 20, 2002 -- Morgantown, WV
11th Annual Red Ribbon 5K (MAGP #9) (iPO Event Id#: 4909)
Article by SD with photos by EJ Linger

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
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Race Start
Runners flood the parking lot at Mountaineer Mall
Morgantown's spirits were high today after the homecoming win over Syracuse and a beautiful fall day blanketing the Monogalia countryside. This set the tone for the Sunday afternoon 11th Annual Red Ribbon Run. This Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP) race is a favorite of the many who run it. The course begins with a long, fast downhill from the Morgantown Mall to White Park, winds through the mildly rolling neighborhood streets, and finally ends with an uphill covering about one third the distance of the much loved downhill from the start.

A pair of newcomers recorded victories at the event. Johanna Fisher did not miss her old teammate Heather Bury today. Fisher crossed the finish line in first place in an time of 18:37 and stole the title as champion from Bury, who did not return to defend her two time reign as Red Ribbon Champion.

Race Pic
A fun start above Morganotwn
Fisher is a former WVU runner and holds PR's of a 17:51 5K and 37:12 10K. Fisher still finds time to run a very respectable 18:37 while planning a wedding and attending medical school.

Second place was captured by Morgantown's Kelly Holpinsky who was very happy with her time of 20:54. Holpinsky is also a first time Red Ribbon participant and thoroughly enjoyed her experience.

Melanie Watkins was only six seconds behind for third place clocking in at a time of 21:00. Watkins ran for Emory University and is currently a medical student at WVU.

Derek Clark
Derek Clark takes the win
Twenty-two year old Derek Clark took the lead early and held it for first place overall finishing with a time of 16:24. Clark had not planned on leading the race, but was happy he was in the lead when he hit the last uphill. "I felt good until the finish," states Clark.

This win marks Clark's third consecutive road race win; Clark recently won a duathlon in Virginia and the Buckwheat Festival 5K.

University High cross country runner Jesse Vernon opted for a fast downhill course as his last race before he prepares for Regional Qualifying this week at the WV State Cross Country Meet. Vernon posted a time of 16:50.

Race Pic
Sprinting by cars on the final hill
Joey Herron, a Fairmont Masters runner, clocked a time of 17:14 for third place. Herron just missed placing in the top three at last year's race. He improved his time from last year by 23 seconds, which helped him finish in the top three this year.

The Red Ribbon Run is known for the fast downhill start, but is also known for helping promote a drug free lifestyle. All proceeds earned will stay in the community to help Morgantown stay clean.