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Wednesday, July 12, 2000 -- Connellsville, PA
John Woodruff 5K Run & Walk
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

Check here for the John Woodruff Story.

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Run O] [By Class] [Walk O] [By Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12]

John Woodruff 5K
The kid's race had a lot of young racers flying around the track
It was the 18th year for one of Connellsville's most exciting, and competitive 5K races. Unlike many of these races that have a name attached to them, this race had the honor of actually having the person whom it was named after at the race! That person is John Woodruff. He is an Olympic champion, and a native of Connellsville. Happy to watch the race and sign his John Hancock on racer's numbers, Woodruff is living testimony to training hard, and the ultimate accomplishment of reaching a personal goal. Those who were fortunate enough to meet him, certainly walked away with much more than just an autograph.

The Kid's Race started it all off. The young winner certainly ran away with it all, with no one finishing close to her footsteps.

John Woodruff 5K
Derek Clark looks serious as he approaches the stadium
Then it was time for big boys and girls to get lined up for the 5K run. Over 340 racers rumbled down Arch Street in a haze. The walkers took off next, and 114 feet times two made their way down the course. In a matter of minutes, it was time for me to get the camera ready as the 1st place winner from the Francis Bud Murphy Memorial 5K rounded the last turn on South Arch street. It was none other than Josh Horner of Brownsville, PA. Tearing up the course in 15:49, Horner went home with the 1st place prize, and a huge smile.

Steve Ohler(16:11), of Normalville, PA, and Jacob Gleason(16:30), of Farmington, PA rounded out the top spots overall.

John Woodruff 5K
Jamie Brooks & Grethen Wood smile with their trophies
At the early stages in her running career, Gretchen Wood has already made quite a name for herself. Like Horner, Wood was a 1st place finisher in the Francis Bud Murphy Memorial 5K, running the fastest in the women's category. "The 1st mile and 1/2 or so was all upgrade. I thought, man, if this is how the rest of the race is, then forget it!" exclaimed Wood. "But then it flattened out, and the inclines started to go downhill and I said, Okay!" Wood used that downhill to her advantage, staying at least 12 seconds ahead of her competition to clench 1st with a time of 20:27.

Just like in Bud's 5K, Ashleigh Grimaldi(20:39), kept up a great stride to sweep 2nd. Susan Lobos took home 3rd respectively, with a 20:51.

John Woodruff 5K
Hitching a ride to the finish
The walkers had some tough competition, with some of the area's primo speedsters heading for the track to the finish. Still, familiar faces were first to the line in no time. Such as Pennsylvanian, Steve Bence(26:20), who also won 1st at Bud Murphy's 5K among other races. One of Bence's most recent accomplishments was overcoming an injured hamstring to place 2nd in one of West Virginia's most prestigious races, the one and only Big Boy 20K.

Placing 4th overall in the Walk, and 2nd overall at Bud Murphy's 5K Walk was Jamie Brooks. She kept a 4 minute edge over her competition to take 1st overall for the ladies with a 28:35! Wow!

After the race everyone, including the Overall Run & Walk Winners, gathered at Bud Murphy's Sports Bar & Restaurant for FREE beverages in their collectors race glass, music, pizza, and a lot of fun.


As always, thanks to SERJ Racing services, speedy results were provided.