Sunday, March 25, 2001 -- Morgantown, WV
Coopers Rock Challenge 10K (MAGP #1) (iPO Event Id#: 3022)
Story by Mike Monroe
This past Sunday kicked off the Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP) at Cooper's Rock State Park. The Grand Prix is a series that lasts throughout the year and includes 10 races for 2001. The runners with the most points, accumulated based on race finishes and age, win year-end prizes and awards. John May, MAGP Coordinator, was set up braving the cold to hand out flyers and make sure everyone was aware of the series and all the races that are held throughout the year. The next race is at the Albert Gallatin Regatta 5K on May 28th.
The Cooper's Rock 10k run and 5k walk had a great turnout even though the temperatures were bitter and the wind was making itself known. The hardcore runners and walkers showed up with their game faces on and pumped to race at "The Rock". The race started just outside the main gate and wound through the park on the main road. The walkers turned around at the 1.5-mile mark, but the runners continued all the way out to near the Cooper's Rock overlook and through the picnic area.
The racers were primed by the time the starting siren sent them on their way. They were seen sprinting up the first long hill which sets the mood for the rest of the race. The course consists of rolling hills as the road heads up and down throughout the park, but the fast downhill finish is always a plus. The runners got started first and then two minutes later the walkers shot their way up the course. Plenty of people lined the road and cheered everyone on and also shouted words encouragement.
The running race was a tight one. The top finisherr, Mikey Guinn (34:55) got in the lead early and set the pace for the rest of the race. Chasing Guinn was Stephen Hiser and Brad Herrington as they fought for the number two spot all the way throughout the course. Someone had to get the second place trophy and it was Hiser (36:52), just ten seconds ahead of Herrington (37:02).
The women's part of the race was also fairly close as less than thirty seconds separated the top two females, Darlene Weaver and Julie Warner. They pushed each other along the course by passing each other back and forth with Darlene coming out at the end with the first place trophy at 45:20. Warner, the 1999 Series champion hit the line at 45:48. Amy Zervous crossed the line for third with a time of 47:13.
Ken James won the Male Walking race with an outstanding time of 30:28. Ken is getting ready to represent West Virginia in the Senior Games at Baton Rouge, Lousiana this July. Ken qualified to represent West Virginia in the 5000-meter walk and also the 1500-meter walk. Ken has been training all winter and is all dialed in and fine tuning his form for the race this July. Let's hope Ken makes West Virginia Proud in the Senior games! (We know he will.)
"I ran the Rock" and "I walked the Rock" was inscribed on the trophies given out after the race. Instead of saying that, they probably should have said "I survived the Rock". The race was a cold one, but fun was had by all and the scenery couldn't have been better.