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Sunday, March 21, 1999 -- Grafton
Grafton 5 Mile Run

[Race Coverage] [Pics Set 1] [Pics Set 2] [Pics Set 3]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Reflecting on the start of a 5 mile run
West Virginia's first running race of spring brought a bounty of runners to the streets of Grafton. Not even a steady drizzle could diminish the spirits of the competitors at the 24th Annual Grafton 5 Mile Run.

The course is a fairly flat run with a mostly downhill start taking the racers to the west bank of the Tygart Valley River. From there it is a flat run downstream until the course crosses the river and returns on the east bank. The toughest part is saved for last with a long climb as you cross the four mile mark. But, it does make for nice downhill just before the finish.

Bradly Mongold
WVU's Bradly Mongold raced to a first place overall win in Grafton
The racing began at 2:00pm with Michael Brosenne jumping out to set the pace early. Brosenne hit the one mile mark in well under five minutes, but so did several others including Bradly Mongold, John Reynolds, Stephen Hiser and Mike Urbati. Things began to get interesting in the early stages of the second mile when Brosenne couldn't hold off his pursuers. Mongold and Reynolds soon took up the lead positions and eventually left Hiser and Urbati to battle for third and fourth as they, too, passed Brosenne.

Renyolds was able to stay with Mongold until the three mile mark. That's when WVU Track Team's Mongold (26:45) decided to get serious and left Renyolds (27:20) to finish alone in second. Meanwhile, Hiser and Urbati battled back and forth to the finish. Hiser (28:32) ran past Urbati with less than a quarter-mile to go and finished third, just six seconds ahead of Urbati (28:38).

Stephanie Meleady out ran her female competition
The field of women runners saw Mandy Helms take the early lead, but Stephanie Meleady didn't lose sight of her for long. Meleady caught Helms and they raced together into the second mile before Meleady began to gain a lead. Her lead continued to build as she distanced herself from the competition to finish first, 17th overall, in 32:37. Helms still finished strong to take second place in 34:31. Running from start to finish in third place was Heather McDaniel finishing in 35:17.

Another finisher, the venerable Carl Hatfield, completed his 24th Grafton 5 Mile Run. He can proudly stake claim as the only person to compete in every race since it began in 1976. Not to mention that he took home top honors in the 50-59 age group for the day.

With a great refreshment table and warm, dry indoor facilities for the awards ceremony, everyone enjoyed a great post-race gathering. Thanks are in order for RRHAMCO and the many other race sponsors. Be sure to join everyone next year for the 25th Grafton 5 Mile Run, it's sure to be every bit as grand as the last 24.