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Saturday, June 3, 2006 -- Masontown - Morgantown, WV
Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon - MAGP #6 (iPO Event Id#: 7422)

[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]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14]

Event Coverage: [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Story and photos by JR Petsko

Photo by JR Petsko
Running Deckers Trail
The Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon turned six years old, and it happened to be sixth Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP) Series event, but the race was not held on 6/06/06 so no triple sixes for them. Rumored to be the fastest half-marathon course in West Virginia, the race starts in Masontown and finishes at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park in Morgantown.

Six buses packed with people from front to back with thrilled runners pulled into Masontown's side of the Deckers Creek Trail. I knew it was going to be a exciting day. As the anticipation grew for the start, so did the line for the restroom. Maybe it was from all the coffee, everyone drank that morning. Maybe it was because the racers where about to embark on a 13 mile run. As fast as over 220 runners could get of the bus, they hit the restroom line until it was a long as the 6 six buses that brought them there.

Photo by JR Petsko
Mother and daughter team stand-out in the crowd
Finally, everyone seemed settled in and ready to go. A cool 55 degrees was a bit of a surprise for a June morning, but the over cast skies opened up to reveal a beautiful, 72 degree day later on. Standing out from the crowd was Clover Wright and her daughter, Kelly Keifer. They ran the entire race side by side as mother and daughter, smiling and laughing the whole way down the trail. It was their first race together. Mother and daughter crossed the finish line together in a time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. After they crossed the finish they turned to each other and celebrated with a great big hug.

Mike Dudley of New York City, and Danny Fink, Virginia native turned local runner, pushed hard early on. Fink aimed to repeat his first place 2005 finish. Three-miles into it, both runners had already lead the race by 2:00 minutes. Dudley attended West Virginia University in '98, so it was no surprise to see him return to his college town for some running fun. A two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (1996, 2000), and two-time winner of the Las Vegas Marathon, Dudley has more than proved himself in the sport of long-distance running. He finished first in 1:08:46, setting a new course record.

Photo by JR Petsko
Round of applause for the crew
Danny Fink improved his last year's first place time for second in 1:14:26. Jim Severino of Elkins, West Virginia, took home 3rd (1:18:52).

First place woman was Jackie Horvath, of Central City , PA, 15th in the race overall with a time of 1:27:29. Horvath was among the top 50 masters women in the 2004 Boston Marathon, ranking 20th. Hannah Kovarik, 18th overall in the Deckers event, claimed 2nd for the women in 1:29:15, while Sharon Marks (1:29:51), finished 3rd.

Another stand-out, retired local cycling star, Robbie Accivatti, showed up to try a different type of racing for a change. "It was the furthest I've ever run," stated Rob, "But it was a great time and for a great cause." He ened up 38th overall for the day.

Special thanks to local law enforcement for making sure that all the road crossings where clear of traffic, and safe.

The next two MAGP events are the Run to Read Races on June 10, then on July 4th it's the Spirit & Breath Challenge 10K. Don't miss our favorite MAGP event, the Brew Pub Twilight 5-Miler on Friday evening, July 14.