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Saturday, July 17, 1999 -- Bartow, Durbin
Durbin Days Back Road 5K
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Sets 2] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Chuck Myers
The Back Road lived up to its scenic billing
Right in the middle of the Monongahela National Forest sits the little towns of Bartow and Durbin, just up the road from the Cass Scenic Railroad and the Green Bank National Observatory. On Saturday morning, July 17th, these towns marked the start and finish points for the Durbin Days Back Road 5K.

Beautiful weather, with temperatures just into the eighties, greeted the runners and walkers for the third annual race from Bartow to Durbin. The 3+ mile route follows the shaded and scenic Back Road that includes just a few moderate hills. The finish in Durbin is also the stage for the annual Durbin Days celebration.

Nathan Rittenhouse
Nathan Rittenhouse's shadow tries to keep up
Just after 10:00am the ceremonial hand clap sent the racers in motion. The winner from the previous two years' events, Cameron Barkley, was once again racing to the front. Barkley's closest chaser, Rick Lacasse, managed to keep the defending champion within sight for the first mile, but then it was all Barkley. Barkley's winning time of 17:26 was more than enough to take the overall win. Lacasse was able to hold onto a second overall finish with a time of 19:11 with Lew McGrath (20:01) moving his way through the field to finish third overall.

Among the females present, Tasha Combs (23:16) was the fastest to the finish. Next came Jane Rodrigue (23:58) and Kim Voight (24:28) to round out the top three.

The Woodfords
The Woodfords make it a family affair
Plenty of cool refreshments were waiting for all the finishers as they earned, at a minimum, a nice new T-shirt for their efforts (all this for just a $7 registration fee!) If that wasn't enough, awards went out to all top age group finishers along with a cash prize. These rewards, combined with the wonderful scenery and exceptional small town hospitality, had racer Jane Rodrigue announcing, "This is the kind of race I want to do every year!"

Next year we'll be looking for Jane and many more folks who might want to enjoy the serenity of a run on the Back Road. You can be sure that the hard working members of the Durbin Days Corporation, Donald Peck, Linda Tracy and all the local community volunteers will back to put on another great run. WVOutside won't miss it and we hope that you won't, either.