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Saturday, April 19, 2008 -- Morgantown, WV
Earth Day 5K-MAGP Sprint #3 (iPO Event Id#: 10592)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Photo by Nathan Reckart
Josh Simpson, training for the big games of 2008
First Annual Earth Day 5K a Hit

Article and photos by Nathan Reckart.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning for the inaugural Earth Day 5K in Morgantown, WV. Nearly 100 runners descended upon the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park to participate in the third race of the Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP) Sprint Series, presented by Dynamic Physical Therapy.

The course took the runners out and back along the Decker's Creek Rail Trail, starting just under the Westover bridge, and then finishing in the parking lot of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. The flat course and good weather were sure to make for some fast racing.

Morgantown resident, Josh Simpson, was the first to arrive at the finish with a crowd shocking time of 14:24, which was almost a full two minutes ahead of everyone else.

Josh was a member of Team USA Senior Men team that won the 8K event at the 2008 NACAC Cross Country Championships last month. It is unlikely that we will see much of him this year as he sets his sites on the 2008 Olympics.

Photo by Nathan Reckart
Cone costume double duty
Another 2008 MAGP Sprint Series newcomer, Andrew Franklin, took second place in 16:17, and Larry Taylor of Fayetteville, WV claimed the third place finish in 16:32.

By running strong and taking fourth place (16:57), Dr. Murshid Latif was able to move ahead of Larry Taylor and take first place in the men's MAGP Sprint Series standings.

Taylor sits in second place, five points behind Latif, and Warren Smith, from Pittsburgh, PA, is in third place, 11 points behind Latif.

Rebecca Stallwood took the women's first place finish and the 7th place overall finish with a time of 18:20. She is a volunteer assistant coach for the WVU Women's Track team and is training for the 2008 Canadian Olympic trials.

Photo by Nathan Reckart
Heather Parks on the come back trail
Heather Parks (19:12), from Bruceton Mills, WV, was the women's second place finisher and 10th overall. Morgantown's own, Sue Heavner (20:33), crossed the finish line in third place for the women, which has earned her the second place ranking in the women's 2008 MAGP Sprint Series standings. She is 14 points out of first.

The young Kaylyn Harris had another good race, finishing 23rd overall. That was enough to keep her in the top spot of the women's series standings. Heather Parks has moved up to 9th in the standings and looks to be on her way to the top.

Shortly after the 5K race finished, it was time for the fun run to begin.

Half a dozen little runners and one large, orange road cone took off from the start line. As each participant made their way to the finish, nothing but smiles could be seen all around from both the runners and the spectators.

The Earth Day 5K was part of Impact E.A.R.T.H. (Environmental Awareness and Respecting Tomorrow's Home), which draws attention to our environment and local efforts to improve it. Environmental education booths and various other activities, including a live band, were setup around the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. Many people stuck around after the race to enjoy the festivities and wonderful spring weather.

April MAGP Series News

2008 MAGP Series

Don't miss the next Sprint Series events, the Parents Place 5K Run and Walk MAGP Sprint #4 on Saturday, April 26th and the Cheat Festival 5K Run and Walk MAGP Sprint #5. Join the Parents Place crew at Jack Roberts Park in Morgantown, WV for their annual race and fun fest. Lots of events for kids including a kid's race.

On May3rd, head to the Preston County Country Club of Kingwood, WV for the Cheat Fest 5K. Free entry to the Cheat Fest at noon, don't miss the fun!

This year's 2008 MAGP title sponsor is Dynamic Physical Therapy. Look for future articles about training and injury prevention from them on iPlayOutside. Visit one of their four offices in Westover, Fairmont, Jane Lew, and Mannington, WV.

Overall series supporting sponsor this year, We-Shred Document Shredding & Storage Company is presently offering a 30-day rick free trail of their services. Check them out and look for them to race at area MAGP and WVMBA series races.