Share |

Saturday, August 7, 1999 -- Hinton
2nd Annual Dam Race 5K Run & Walk
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4] [Results]

Bluestone Dam
The Bluestone Dam has provided West Virginians with flood protection for 50 years
The Bluestone Dam celebrated its 50th birthday on Saturday, August 7th, along with all the festivities of the West Virginia State Water Festival. The fun included a carnival and parade in the town of Hinton, fireworks, and more. Bellpoint Park, at the base of the dam, was the site for the 2nd Annual Dam Race 5K Run & Walk with over 100 participants ready to go at 9:00am.

The final turn and a sprint finish
The runner friendly course took the racers from the dam into the community of Bellpoint for two circuits around the relatively flat streets. One hill was thrown in to add another challenge to each lap before the racers headed back to the dam for the finish. With excellent running weather breaking the recent trend of stifling heat, the stage was set for a scenic and fast race.

When the runners were let go, a group of over a half-dozen racers formed a lead pack at the front. Running together for most of the first mile, Larry Taylor and last year's runner-up, Jason Wall, set the pace crossing the one mile mark after just 5:02 with the rest of the group just off their pace at about 5:05.

Robin Young
At the base of the dam, the finish line greets Robin Young
As they reached the halfway point, a short downhill saw Taylor pick up the pace and pull away for a slight advantage. By the two mile mark Taylor was alone at the front and took his lead to the finish with a winning time of 16:17. Wall crossed the line to once again capture second place honors with a time of 16:35.

As the second group began to distance themselves from each other in the battle for third, Aaron Phillips raced to a lead and took third overall in 16:59.

Among the female competitors it was Holly Wall (21:25) dominating the field from start to finish to take first place. The race for second had Martha Drinkard chasing Mary Jane Walthall for most of the race. With the finish in sight, Drinkard was able to finally make a move around Walthall to take second in 22:44 with Walthall taking third in 22:56.

Zachary Adkins
Zachary Adkins heads to the finish in the Kids Race
Jerry Parrish was the fastest walker in the crowd with a time of 32:34 for 5K. The fastest Fun Run competitor was Andrew Aycoth who completed the roughly one-half mile course in just 3:12.

After all the running and walking was completed, folks relaxed in the park for awards and plenty of refreshments. Once again the Southern West Virginia Road Runners Club had put together a well organized event with fun and exercise available for the whole family. We'll be looking forward to another Dam Race (and you thought you'd get through this without a pun) for Bluestone's 51st Anniversary in 2000. By-the-way, does anyone know if the dam is Y2K compliant?