Saturday, June 7, 2008 -- Masontown-Morgantown, WV / Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park
Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon-MAGP Endurance #3
Story and photos by Jason Black
With the temperature hovering around the 100 mark, 318 brave souls started their 13.1 mile journey from Masontown to Downtown Morgantown, West Virginia. Of the original 318 a remarkable 306 were able to push their bodies through the heat to the finish line.
A handful of competitors commented the heat and trail. Most said, "The first 10 miles wasn't too bad. The trail had a slight downward slope, soft gravel, and was shaded by a thick forest. It was the last 3 miles that was the toughest. The trail flattens out to become pavement and the shade disappears, leaving you at the mercy of the sun."
Thanks to local business such as Southern States who supplied some hose water within 2 miles of the finish, one of the hottest spots on the course. And with water stops every 2 miles or so on the course, the summer heat was certainly bearable.
Dave ran a blistering time of 1:17:52, finishing a full 3.4 minuets ahead of second place finisher, Murshid Latif (1:21:32).
Following close behind Latif was third place finisher, Derek Bolyard (1:22:42). Chris Nance (1:27:39.66) edged out Larry Taylor (1:27:56.64) for forth.
Word is that Larry Taylor went out very hard from the start and was still recovering from the Wheeling, WV Ogden 20k run. His all-out effort caught up with him, and Dave McCollam (who is married to Carl Hatfield's Daughter, Stephanie by the way) wound up running away with first place.
In the Womens Division, first place went to overall sixth place finisher, Heather Parks. Heather ran an incredible time of 1:28:31. She was able to keep a steady 6:40 pace until the last 2 miles.
Second place finisher Amanda Maxwell (1:32:43) and third place finisher, Jen Sober (1:35:28) were both ahead of Heather and ran together. Heather was able to pass them at mile 4 and stay ahead the rest of the route.
The catering digs after the race were very tasty, especially the wraps from Maxwell's (a wonderful restaurant located in downtown Morgantown).
The pizza was excellent, and a live local bluegrass band played on the stage over looking the Mon river at the finish. Sounds like a great way to recover, doesn't it?
Event proceeds went to the Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC). This organization is non-profit and volunteer based, founded in 1991. They strive to acquire, develop, and manage the Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trail system in North Central West Virginia.
MRTC uses the funding and support to manage these trails for non-motorized use; primarily walking, jogging, cycling, and cross-country skiing.
They also create and promote opportunities for recreation, tourism, economic development, historic preservation, healthy lifestyles, and environmental conservation. It's money well spent. Thank you for giving to the cause.
June MAGP Series News
Don't miss the next Endurance Series events, the Run to Read 15K MAGP Endurance #4 on Saturday, June 21, 2008 in Fairmont, WV. Runners are rewarded with a variety of post race food and refreshments at the Marion County Adult Education Center and free swimming for runners and their families at the city pool.
Endurance Series Points Leaders: Men / Murshid Latif, Women / Sue Heavner
This year's 2008 MAGP title sponsor is Dynamic Physical Therapy. Look for articles this month 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.