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Sunday, January 6, 2013 -- Fairmont, WV / Prickett's Fort State Park
Run to Read Half Marathon - Run to Read Triple Crown #1 (iPO Event Id#: 14248)

2013: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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Reinventing the Run to Read

Story and photos by Julie Black.

2013 Run to Read Half Marathon
See more race photos!
"We are reinventing the Run to Read Races." said race director Jim Woolfitt, referring to the 2013 Run to Read Triple Crown Series.

The series features the Half Marathon in January, and a 10K and 5K on Friday, July 26, 2013. "There will be a private post-race pool party free to race participants and their families." That's for the July races of course.

The first event in the series had more than 270 participants and included runners from all 55 West Virginia counties, plus many out-of-staters.

"I'm from State College, Pennsylvania," Linda Welker told Kelsey Pape of channel 12-WBOY, "I have been visiting the West Virginia parks over the past few years and I was so excited to see the half marathon."

Runners and walkers didn't need to worry about snow and ice on the course thanks to the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission. They removed the snow, salted the paved parts, and kept the course clear of ice, trees, and other winter obstacles.

2013 Run to Read Half Marathon
See more race photos!
At the top of the out-of-state participant list was an outdoor track runner from Slippery Rock University, Alex Koksal. In 2011 he qualified for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships in the 10,000 meter run. Within the first 4 miles Koksal lead the half marathon. He kept the lead to the finish line and crossed with the overall winning time of 1:14:50.

Young Matthew Brafford of Charleston, WV held his own, keeping Koksal in his sights to come within 3 seconds of him, finishing second overall (1:14:53). Brafford is the 2012 WV Cross Country All-State First Team, 2nd Place winner (time 15:42).

Christopher Pirie of nearby Morgantown, WV took third with a time of 1:19:32.

Theresa Neiderer, Annapolis, MD, finished 35th overall. She was the first woman with a time of 1:34:27. Neiderer is a top cross country runner who participated in the Maryland State Cross Country Championships and other invitational runs in the past.

2013 Run to Read Half Marathon
See more race photos!
Dana Newlin of Mt. Pleasant, PA, was the second female to finish (1:35:17). Noteable wins are first place overall women in the Takeoff Memorial Race, Latrobe, PA on April 21, 2012 and in the Main Street Classic 5K, August 18, 2012.

Taking third for the women was Alex Pharnes, a University High graduate from Morgantown, WV. She most recently ran a PR of 11:51.76 in the 3200m at West Virginia State Championships, placing 7th.

Afterwards, chili, cookies and other refreshments were held in the Prickett's Fort State Park public building.

The race was sponsored by the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and Pepsi with the proceeds going to Literacy Volunteers of Marion County, a United Way agency that provides free tutoring to adults and children in reading, math, and English as a second language. Special thanks to Marion County Parks and Recreation for all their help and professional timing by Miles of Smiles Timing Services.