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Saturday, March 25, 2000 -- Marietta, OH
19th Annual Shamrock Classic 5/10K
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [10K Run] [5K Run] [5K Walk]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10]

Kid Runner
A great day for everyone to get out and run or walk
A picture perfect morning dawned on the scenic river town of Marietta, Ohio, on Saturday. The early spring sunshine and warm temperatures brought huge crowds of spectators and participants out to the historic Hotel Layfayette for the 19th Annual Shamrock Classic 5K and 10K races. A relatively flat course was ready to challenge a competitive field of runners and walkers of all ages. Even if you weren't out to win it all, the scenic course through downtown streets, around the beautiful campus of Marietta College, and along the Muskingum and Ohio rivers provided a nice morning's tour for everyone.

The racing began with the 10K runners getting the starting signal at 8:30am. As they took off from the starting line on Front Street, directly in front of the Post Office, it didn't take long for Ohio's own Condy Richardson and Matt Bachman to take up the lead positions. After running together for most of the first mile, Bachman surged to an advantage and held a slight advantage much of the second mile. However, by the end of the second mile Richardson had closed the gap and began to push the pace. For the rest of the race Richardson held the edge to take the win in 33:29 with Bachman taking second at 33:39.

Stephanie Agosta
Stephanie Agosta dominates in the 10K race
West Virginians, Tony Basta and Glenn Baldwin kept it close for third with Basta grabbing the honors at 34:14. Baldwin's fourth overall finish at 34:25 was more than enough to give him the overall men's masters (40-Over) title.

The women's field was dominated by Lancaster, Ohio's Stephanie Agosta who finished 12th overall at 38:37. The race for second place began with Nashport, Ohio's Cassandra McCune holding the advantage over Marietta's Jennifer Gwin for the first few miles. But, pacing herself nicely, Gwin overtook McCune and built a lead over the later half of the race to finish second at 41:53 with McCune taking third at 42:25.

As the last 10K racers were finishing, the new 5K race began. This was the first year for the 5K run as it replaced the one-mile run that was held in previous years. The course covered the same first two-plus miles as the 10K before taking a shortcut, via Scammel Street, back to the finish in front of the Hotel Layfayette. Joining the 5K runners was a tremendous field 5K walkers. Some of them were competitively race walking while quite a few others were just out to enjoy some morning exercise with friends and family.

Martry Julius
Martry Julius has his eyes on the finish
Soon after the 9:30am start, Ohio's Ben Ortt and Kevin Kollai were leading the pack along with West Virginia's Kevin Boyce. After the three raced closely for the first mile, Ortt surged ahead and went on to a commanding win in 17:27. The battle for second waged between Kollai and Boyce as the jockeyed for position early during the second mile. By the final mile Boyce had a solid lead and went on to take second place in 17:48 with Kollai grabbing third at 17:59.

Among the female 5K runners, local Marietta ladies swept the top three spots. Renee Sprague kept the race for first close as she ran on the heels of Dana Ciribulk for the first two miles. The final mile saw Ciribulk push the pace and build an advantage on her way to an overall win in 22:45. Sprague took second at 23:00 with Marie Thompson cruising in for third at 23:43.

In the competitive walk it was Vienna, West Virginia's John Mike Nichols getting the win in 30:49. Two Ohio gentlemen, both of whom where racing in over 60 age brackets, found the tape for second and third. Rollie Woods earned the second overall spot at 31:32 with Bernard Fries striding in third at 33:12.

Shelly Medley
Even a little hill doesn't slow the fun for Shelly Medley
Belpre, Ohio's Martha Marks out walked all the ladies with a seventh overall finish at 36:14. In a very close race for second, West Virginia's Mary Owings (37:01) edged out Ohio's Darlene Burke (37:06) and Sheila Barlett (37:08).

As many more participants headed for the finish the crowds continued to cheer for all the smiling runners, walkers, and babies in strollers. Whether they were racing for personal goals or just out enjoying some morning exercise, everyone was doing their part to help many individuals who could not join in the fun. All proceeds from the event went to benefit the American Cancer Society.

A special thanks goes out to the hard work of the race organizers, Chris Brunton, Jane Crowther and Rick Brown, and all the community volunteers who gave their generous support. Also, it wouldn't be possible without the additional generosity extended by the race sponsors, the Layfayette Hotel, Bank One, Marietta Memorial Hospital, and American Producers.