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Saturday, June 5, 2004 -- Masontown - Morgantown, WV
Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon (MAGP #4) (iPO Event Id#: 6160)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[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]
Past Coverage: [2001] [2002] [2003]

Deckers Creek Trail
Scenic Deckers Creek Trail
More than 200 people showed their support for the Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) at the Fourth Annual Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon, MAGP's fourth race in it's series of twelve. This fund-raising event paired with the Trail Mix 2004 Celebration held in Morgantown, West Virginia, help maintain the Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trails.

Currently 46 miles of accessible trail are complete for non-motorized use, but quite a few miles are left undeveloped. MRTC's mission is to develop and maintain the Mon River Trail and other connecting trails for conservation and for pedestrian and cyclist use. Recently, MRTC has finished the Mon River Trail south to Prickett's Fort.

Deckers Creek Trail
It's always easier if you race with a friend
The 13.1 mile course elevation drops approximately 800 feet from Masontown to Marilla Park in Morgantown. Starting out as a fine gravel path, more than half way down it changes into a paved, semi-flat trail which runs along Deckers Creek. With all of the recent rain the surrounding trees were plump with green leaves giving the feel of a tropical rain forest. The dew hung heavy in the air as a cool breeze filled the treetops.

A few safety bikers lead the way to let folks know that the runners were just a few minutes behind them. One biker said, "There's guy out in front who took over around the 6 mile marker. Looks like he's way ahead." That runner was Tony Yurko from Cumberland, MD. Yurko finished fourth overall in 2002, but this year beat that time for a first place overall finish (1:16:28). Young Morgantown runner Ryan Skotnicki held onto second with 1:17:50 as Bill Lamb of Beaver, Pennsylvania crossed for third in 1:18:06.

Deckers Creek Trail
A great morning on the trail
Fourth overall and first for the women was Morgantown resident and Personal Fitness Trainer Heather Bury (1:18:23). Bury flashed a pleasant smile as if she was just out for a morning stroll. The other top finishers for the women were also from Morgantown. Maria Stover (1:29:52) cruised in for second and Nicole Dorinzi (1:30:26) topped it off in third. The home town trail advantage paid off for the ladies this year.

After the race was over, racers could be found eating pizza, and enjoying other refreshments. The awards ceremony held at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park featured many prizes, accompanied by some Morgantown International Festival booths. Many runners stuck around to experience cuisine from around the world, games, crafts, dance, and music which celebrated the areas cultural diversity. The Festivities lasted all day. This race was a part of the Morgantown Area Grand Prix Series and the Mountain State Trail Run Series associated with the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners.