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Saturday, April 18, 2009 -- Morgantown, WV / Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheatre
Earth Day 5K Run, Walk, and Fun Run (iPO Event Id#: 11778)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [2008]

Green Event Includes 5K Race

Photos by Maria af Rolen with story by Jason Chastain

Earth Day 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
Great weather and great fun
It was a gorgeous sunny morning for the Earth Day 5K Run/Walk down by the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheatre. Lots of spectators and participants came out for a good, green cause.

The festival atmosphere included informative booths where one could get everything from a tasty hot dog to education on the environment. There were even pine tree seedlings for giveaway and a booth where you could pet rescued cats.

The 5K run and walk followed the Deckers Creek trail to Marilla Park where they turned around and finished back by the Monongalia River.

Runner Jim Watkins of Fairmont, West Virginia said the course was beautiful and fast.

Runners Mary Jo and Lacy of Fairview said, "It was a wonderful day and the course was very well marked and easy to follow. Many thanks to the race organizers and volunteers!" The Lacy's included the race as part of their Wellness Program at work.

Vicki Goodykoontz of Morgantown appreciated that the course was nice and flat and that she heard of the event on the web site.

Travis Mersing of Aurora, WV ran a sub-sixteen minute 5K to win the event overall with a time of 15:51.

Morgantown runner and coach, Danny Fink, claimed 2nd in 17:05. According to USA Biathlon ( -- "This year marks Fink's sixth appearance at the Summer Biathlon World Championships, having previously competed in 1997-2000 and 2005. He was also a member of the Summer Biathlon National Team from 1998-2001. Fink has nine top five finishes at the national championships since 1997. He finished first at the 2000 Czech International Biathlon Cup."

In from Pottstown, PA, Bill Karounos (18:17), crossed the line for 3rd.

Earth Day 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
The kids had a race of their own
Local, Rebecca White, ran great to finish 9th overall and first for the women in 19:47. Tammy Turner (20:03), finished 3 seconds behind Charles Hoadley to cross in second. One of last year's big winners in the Morgantown Area Grand Prix Series, Sue Heavner, took home 3rd in 20:05.

Keith Bailey was the first walker in 34:19.

After the main race/walk was over, the kids had their turn in the spotlight as they ran an out-and-back short race over the Deckers Creek Bridge and back. Smokey the bear was on hand to root on the kids as they came across the finish line.

Ten-year-old, Morgan, who came in 2nd place in last year's Strawberry Fest Run, took time out from playing soccer to run in the kids race and did great!