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Saturday, August 22, 1998 -- Bridgeport
Sport Page Mtn State Road Runners Club Fun Run #2

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Ready, set... have some fun!
While most kids were getting their Back-to-School shopping done, a handful of diehard athletes were still out taking advantage of the final days of summer. The first annual Bridgeport Fun Run '98, postponed from early June, took place on Saturday, August 22. The event was held for youths 14 and under. The race was held at the new Bridgeport City Park and was sponsored by the Sports Page, Bridgeport Parks and Recreation and the Mountain State Road Runners.

Mom cheers Laureen Gilbert on to victory
Fun was what the event promised, and fun was what the runners got. The event consisted of three different races. All the days' races were run over a 1K course around a graveled path at the perimeter of the park. In the first race, an eight and under event, competitors had to run one lap around the park (1K). Derek Gilbert of Bridgeport, WV won this event with a time of 4:25 followed closely by Benjamin Fouts with a time of 4:38.

Ryan Rakestraw coasts to an early lead
The 9-11 age group competition also brought lots of action. The racers made two laps around the same gravel course for a total of 1.24 miles (2K). Benjamin Booth carved out an early lead that would last throughout the race. He finished well ahead of the others with a time of 8:42. David Fogg finished second with a time of 10:05 just quickly enough to finish ahead of the 1st place female, Laureen Gilbert who completed the course with a time of 10:14. Not to be outdone by her brother, Jenna Fogg also finished as the 2nd place female in the 2K race with a time of 10:23.

To conclude the days' fun, a 3K race was held for the 12-14 age category. Ryan Rakestraw made an early break from the pack which he would sustain throughout the three treks around the park. He finished well ahead of the others with a time of 12:36, an almost full two minutes ahead of the second place winner, Anthony Ferrari, whom completed the course with a time of 14:06.

Brothers Mike(L) and Ben(R) Fouts enjoy some post-race refreshment
The race sponsors were already busy planning next year's event and hope to boost the number of entrants. "Our goal is to increase the interest in running with younger people in North Central West Virginia, and today's event was just the beginning," stated Barbara Bussolini of the Sports Page, a regional magazine that reports on youth sports. As plans are made for next year's event, be sure to visit WVOutside for all the details. We hope to see you there.