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Sunday, November 20, 2005 -- Rowlesburg, WV
Knights of Columbus Rowlesburg 10K/5K Run (iPO Event Id#: 6981) Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]
Past Coverage: [2003] [2004]

Photo by Julie Black
Racing through a cave
Named for James Rowles, railroad engineer, Rowlesburg is a sleepy town of about 600 people that lies along the Cheat River. The Knights of Columbus Rowlesburg course is loaded with railroad history. The river road course runs the path of The Cheat River Grade. a single track railway dating back to the mid-1800's.

The 5K turnaround was marked at the Tray Run Viaduct. At 58 feet tall, it was constructed prior to 1872 and built for a single railroad track. The curved viaduct had viewing platforms on each side for passengers and it is pictured on the reverse side of West Virginia's state seal.

The 10K turnaround took racers through a cave where it's known to the locals as the Flower Garden. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) passenger trains would stop during the early years to allow passengers to enjoy a spectacular view of the Cheat River far below. This practice soon ended as traffic levels rose but the Fountain and Gardens survived for quite some time because of the continued care by the B&O until the area was razed sometime after World War II.

Photo by Julie Black
A smile on River Road
The 10K has been the main attraction in the past, but the 5K was added this year and many folks took part in it. Racers came from local areas, and many enjoyed the riverside jaunt along the Cheat. Although the pack was tight at the Flower Garden cave turnaround, David MoCollam was far out in front, so the race was on for 2nd and 3rd. Mocollam, of Charleston, WV, topped the 10K course in 34:08, the fastest time in the last 3 years. Terra Alta native Josh Feather finished 2nd in 38:12 and Morgantown's Ed Frohnapfel (38:13) claimed 3rd.

Heather Parks (formerly Bury just a few months ago), left the comforts of her farm on a chilly Sunday to claim 1st female in the 10K in 38:36. Off a few weeks to bike in Ireland during her honeymoon, Parks is now back in training full force. Amanda Maxwell (41:52) finished 2nd, and pro mountain biker Cassie Smith proved that she can run finishing 3rd in 46:21.

Photo by Julie Black
Good times, good friends
Top 5K finisher, 18 year old Bryan Hooton (17:13) stayed ahead of Mitch Radella (19:20) to claim 1st. Young photographer Miles Helmick (just 13), crossed in 3rd with a time of 20:35. Stephanie Hatfield finished as the 1st female in 21 minutes flat. Mary Ann Fajvan (28:22) took 2nd and Lucy Thompson (28:25) was 3rd.

Afterwards raffle prizes were awarded to those who stuck it out with hot chocolate in tow. Refreshments, smiles, and the latest running scoop was shared.