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Saturday, October 30, 1999 -- New Martinsville
Scarecrow 5K Run & Walk
Story and photos by Don Parks

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

Hydro Drive
Vic Fitzsimmons has the sun at his back as he races along Hydro Drive
A spectacular late October afternoon greeted the crowd of runners and walkers that prepared to tackle New Martinsville Parks and Rec.'s Scarecrow 5K on Saturday. With plenty of sunshine and temperatures well into the 70s, some racers longed for the chilly conditions often endured in previous years. The course consists of a short incline for the start before a short downhill takes everyone down to the Ohio River for a scenic out and back jaunt along Hydro Drive. The return trip ends with a nice climb back uphill to the finish in front of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Getting started at 3:30pm, Mitch Radella took the opportunity to jump out to an early lead. However, last year's top two finishers, Ed Tullius and Joe Foster, would not be letting him get away so easily. The revenge minded Tullius, finishing second to Foster in 1998, quickly moved into the lead position and never looked back. Tullius went on to post a winning time of 17:38 while Foster (18:23) captured second place with a 10 second lead over the third placed Radella (18:33).

Winnie Clark enjoys a glorious late afternoon walk
In the women's field, it was Cindy Culley (22:33) who enjoyed a comfortable victory. Racing for second overall were her training partners, Liz Harshberger and Jan Emch. After spending the first two miles shoulder-to-shoulder, Harshberger (24:41) began to build a lead and secured second overall ahead of Emch (25:03).

The walking competition saw the 1998 champ, John Mike Nichols, once again stride his way to first in 30:57. Among the women, it was Darlene Burke who crossed the line first with a finishing time of 35:42.

Kids Race
Christa & Olivia join in the fun at the Kids Race
After all the big kids were done playing on the banks of the Ohio River, it was time to let the youngsters strut their stuff on the church lawn. With multiple races being run for ages ranging from 5 to 8 years-old, it was hard to pick winners as every one of them deserved just rewards for a job well done.

While some folks did take home trophies, everyone was treated to plenty of delicious pizza (served fresh, thanks Domino's!), cool drinks (thanks Cameron Coca Cola) and other tasty treats. Special thanks for all the good times also go out to the hard working race directors, Beverly Gibbs and Niki Hardman. They couldn't have done it without the support of great volunteers including New Martinsville Chief of Police Carl Kocher and the members of Magnolia High School's National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Ed. Note: Racing in New Martinsville is a lot of fun, but don't race to get there. The reporter for this story got off with just a warning in near by Paden City. He might not be so lucky next time.