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Saturday, March 25, 2000 -- Connellsville, PA
Yough River Trail 1/2 Marathon
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [1/2 Marathon] [5K Run] [5K Walk]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Yough River Trail1/2 Marathon Start
The start of the 1/2 Marathon
Saturday was a beautiful day to have a 5K, AND a 1/2 marathon race! Set in scenic Yough Park outside the small town of Connellsville, PA, the Yough River Trail 1/2 Marathon & 5K Run/Walk has been a part of the community for many years.

The course was out and back on the lovely, Yough Trail for both the 5K and the 1/2 marathon. Participants ran or walked their way to victory on the flat, small gravel terrain, which was later met by pavement and a downhill finish. The soothing sound of the Youghiogheny River, and a variety of bird songs could be heard along with the pounding of racer's feet.

Lauryn Macfawn
Lauryn Macfawn sprints to the finish in the 5K Run
The Yough River Trail 5K Run start was literally, a stampede. The runners lunged from the starting line and took off in a cloud of dust. The only racer who emerged out of the dust in 17 minutes and 27 seconds later was Morgantown, WV runner, Scott Biola. Coming in 23 seconds later than Biola was Kevin Lieb(17:50), from Farmington, PA. David Madison, another Pennsylvania native, took 3rd with a time of 18:07.

The women's race for 1st place in the 5K Run was spread out with Aly Brown leading the way. Young Brown(21:16), who is under the age of 16, took the top spot nearly a minute and a half ahead of the rest of her competition. Another fast teen by the name of Scarlett Graham(22:09), took 2nd, and Kate Brown of Sewickley, PA took 3rd with a time of 22:54.

Yough River Trail 1/2 Marathon
Everyone should feel this good after a 1/2 marathon!
The 1/2 Marathon may have started before the 5K, but of course, runners were crossing the line after the 5K was just about over. "There were a lot of good runners out there today." said the very modest, Steve Ritenour(1:15:49), who is no stranger to the Yough Trail course. "The same guy lead for 11 1/2 miles, then I finally passed him. I was worried about my friend Brian overtaking me from behind on the downhill finish."

Ritenour had reason to worry. Brian McPeake turned his saved energy into distance and speed, overtook Tom Rogozinski in the last mile & 1/2, and then hoofed it into high gear towards Ritenour. McPeake held onto 2nd, finishing just seconds behind his pal Steve with a time of 1:15:53. Rogozinski(1:16:20), ran a great race as well, and took home the 3rd place plaque.

Yough River Trail 1/2 Marathon
"We'll see you next year in 2001!" says Tony Yurko
A first timer in the Yough Trail 1/2 Marathon, Sabina Kane came on strong from the get go, and lead the women's race for first Line-to-Line. Kane kept up a fast pace of 7 minute 18 second miles to acquire her time of 1:35:39. Nearly 5 minutes behind Kane, Sandy Oslosky(1:40:55), held the edge on her competition as she finished strong on the downhill. Wheeling,WV native, Kathy Willming(1:45:02), held her own to take 3rd place respectively. When asked about her finish Willming said, "That was the longest 3 miles of my life!" There's no doubt that many runners who finished the 1/2 marathon will be feeling the burn tomorrow, and remembering the Yough River Trail for a lifetime!
Special Thanks goes out to SERJ Racing Services (serj@hhs.net), the fine folks of Connellsville Chamber of Commerce, and Joe Turek. Congratulations on an excellent job done by all!