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Saturday, July 3, 1999 -- St. Albans
Kanawha-Coal Riverfest 5K Run
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]

The Start
Hitting the muggy streets of St. Albans
A 5K run kicked off the Saturday festivities for the 3-day Kanawha-Coal Riverfest 99. But, even an 8:00am start time couldn't avoid the summer heat and humidity in St. Albans. Overcast skies gave no relief to a warm and muggy morning on the city streets. Starting with the presentation of colors by the VFW and a nice rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, sung by Tony Burdett, the starting gun was sounded.

2nd Female
Roxanne Carte couldn't quite catch Jessica Taylor
It may have been some consolation that the 3.1-mile course followed a very flat out-and-back route. After Michael Guinn got all the racers off to quick start, a group of about five runners settled at the front through the first mile. Around this point, Heeno Haava, a guest runner and Olympic hopeful who was not running for awards, started to pull away with only Dave McCollum able to keep pace. Guinn also dropped off the pace as mild nausea slowed him and allowed Larry Taylor and Kevin Williams to battle for second.

After finishing the first mile in about 4:48, Haava's pace finally became a little too much for McCollum at the halfway point. The leaders crossed the two-mile mark in under 10 minutes, but Haava had opened up a lead that eventually took him across the line in just over 15 minutes. McCollum crossed the line next as the official winner with a still blazing time of 15:23. When McCollum was asked about keeping pace with Haava, he simply said "I couldn't hang with the pro."

Jeremy Ferrell shows off his nice finishing kick
The duel for second saw Taylor chasing Williams for most of the final two miles as he maintained a few second lead. With about a half-mile to the finish, Williams picked up the pace and cruised to the finish in 15:31. Taylor (16:19) had to hang on for third as Guinn (16:20), recovering from his early pains briefly moved ahead near the finish. Taylor used a big finishing kick to take back the advantage and capture third place overall. Finishing fifth overall, and recording the only other sub 17-minute, was Glenn Baldwin (16:24) who took home first overall Master's honors.

In the women's competition, 15-year-old Jessica Taylor (20:12) endured the warm and heavy air to hold off Roxanne Carte (20:24) who chased the entire race. Third place among the females went to Katherine Gorrell (21:20) with Karen Huffman (24:02) taking home the women's overall Masters's award.

Thanks must go out to 1999 Riverfest President Helen Warren and all the volunteers and supporters that help make the festival and the 5K run possible. There were plenty of awards and cold refreshments provided and that certainly helped the runners recover from the demanding conditions. Special thanks go to the St. Albans Police Dept. and the St. Albans Fire Dept. who ensured that all the racing was fun and safe for everyone.