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Sunday, October 17, 1999 -- Spencer
Black Walnut Festival Nut Run 5K
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Pictures] [Results]

W Dossen Estep champions Rt. 119 to Spencer
Spencer's Black Walnut Festival wouldn't be complete without the annual Nut Run 5K. Racing from the Maple Hills neighborhood and heading north on Route 119 for three miles, the finish line was situated directly in front of the Roane County Courthouse. This finish is also smack-dab in the middle of all the carnival commotion that is downtown Spencer during the Black Walnut Festival. While it made navigating through the congestion a little tricky for the runners, it did provide plenty of cheering spectators to congratulate the finishers.

When the racing began at 1:00PM, unusually warm October weather and plenty of sunshine had heated up the course. Getting a quick start was W Dossen Estep who took the lead early only to watch thirteen-year-old Alex Weaver come around him at the first mile mark. Keeping himself paced well, Estep was able to retake the lead as the heat and rolling hills began to take their toll on Weaver's early charge. His slowing pace allowed Mark Robinson to move into second after two miles of racing. Robinson chased the leader to the finish but Estep held off his pursuer to take the win in 19:57. Robinson followed in second place at 20:06 with Weaver holding on for third in 20:38.

Kelli Mace
Kelli Mace takes the tape as the fastest female
Among the women runners, it was Kelli Mace (22:24) running a strong race to finish first, an impressive sixth overall. When asked about the race, Mace summed it up with a single word, "Hot!" She did go on to mention that, "The few hills made it a tough race." Fighting the heat and hills for second among the ladies was Linda Cannon (23:50) with Lori Mitchell (29:30) taking third.

The awards were presented promptly after all the finishers had made their way into town. Overall winner W Dossen Estep graciously accepted the winner's trophy and confessed, "I owe it all to my beautiful and self-sacrificing wife." Or, maybe that is what she said? None-the-less, everyone owes a big thanks to the folks at WVRC Radio and their many volunteers that made sure everyone had a beautiful time. You can be sure that they'll be back at it again for the Nut Run 2000!